Monday, November 12, 2012


Are you prepared to meet your maker? This morning there is a personal outlook piece in the Globe and Mail called Getting in the Last Word by Ed Shannon.  It is written by a man who is one of the rare 150 or so males in this country who are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. He has been living with the cancer for a while, having endured a mastectomy and treatment. He has thought through his funeral plans and also sat down to write his obituary to save his wife from having to do so.

What to include? Should his unsettled teen years be mentioned? What about the boring bits, or an explanation of the eleven year courtship of his partner? What matters?

Have you done any serious thinking about The End? It happens to all of us. In recent weeks I have had conversations with four people about their mortality, including sobering realities of resuscitation if heart failure occurs, and the location of funerals.

None of those conversations touched on obits, but what an intriguing thought. What and who would you include? Would your faith in God get a mention? Is this morbid or practical?


IanD said...

As I get older, I get more and more unnerved by death. It took an old buddy of mine last Christmas at the tender age of 33, and it always seems to be around when you least expect it.

My own end terrifies me. I was watching a family-produced documentary/biography of George Harrison on the weekend where he revealed that he was essentially spending his life trying to craft his own 'perfect ending.' He wanted the moment his soul left his body to be just so, apparently.

When he died, his wife, Olivia, said that the room "just lit up." I recall the same kind of experience when my Uncle David died two summers ago. Those kind of stories and experiences give me hope.

So, maybe it's not death that scares me - more what comes after. (Gee, there's a new one ... !)

roger said...

I don't give much thought to my own obituary, however I often wonder just what life is supposed to mean.

I find myself caring less and less about material possessions, and more about trying to have a positive effect - whether on people or the environment. I don't mean for that to sound altruistic.

Life is truly a gift. There is so much to experience, and I don't want to let it fly by and just do the same old thing every day. I have decided I am going to periodically take myself out of my comfort zone, starting with a course or two that I never dreamed I would take(and no, I won't reveal it!).

Or maybe all of this was just another way of saying I'm in a mid-life crisis!!

Laura said...

Ther was a day last week that was referred to as National Plan Your Epitaph Day, just as today is National Sandwich Day. I listened to radio personalities banter about what their own epitaph might referred to it as writing your final tweet. Another aid she could "live with" SHE TRIED, as hers. Another commented that it seemed to be the last vestige of control for "control freaks" to write their own epitaph.
Although we may feel we are in control, or maybe out of control, or have no control, I was thinking as I read the Globe essay that you spoke of that maybe writing our own story,looking back from its ending (our own death) we are given the opportunity to use some of that 20/20 hindsight we often wish for to control some of that stuff in life we can control. brought up the meaning of life as we talk about death a card not long ago that said "life can only be understood looking backwards but must be lived going forward"...hmmm