While waiting for a flight a few weeks ago, I happened to pick up The Arizona Republic newspaper. And as it usually happens, the part I got stuck with was the back section; no news, no sports. But I did have the obituaries. On a whim, I started reading some of them.
Generally they started with the person’s age and then the date they passed away. And then the creativity started. Some folks just told the barest of facts. Others took out full page ads and included pictures. Some were written by funeral homes and others by the family.
About the same time, I saw an article in CNN that mentioned a conference put on by the Society of Professional Obituary Writers. (Who knew there was such a group?) They were bemoaning the truth that their work is a dying art. Apparently newspapers rarely employ them anymore. Instead there are memorial websites and even do-it-yourself kits available. The latest idea is to put codes on tombstones that can be scanned with a smart phone. A video would then be featured highlighting the life of the deceased.
All of which got me to thinking about my own obituary. What would be written and by whom? What would they say? Would it be funny or serious? Would it focus on my service to the Lord or something else?
There are several samples in the Bible. I like the one about Moses (Deut. 34:7): “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.” My kind of dude!
And then there is David’s in I Chron. 29:26-28: “David son of Jesse was king over all Israel. He ruled over Israel forty years, seven in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. He died at a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth and honor.” Good stuff!
So, once again I got the idea to write my own obituary. This isn’t a new thought, in fact I once led a women’s retreat to actually write them. It really isn’t morbid; in fact it is very helpful. It was a great exercise is establishing what is really important to us. What matters and what are we doing to ensure that that “thing” has preeminence in our lives?
So this week, let’s put it on paper. It will become a kind of focus document. We will be “writing it forward” so to speak.
It might begin with…”This is how I want to be remembered…..”
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel