- Write your obituary.
While this exercise might sound easy, it requires you to step inside yourself and evaluate at least three W’s and an H:
· WHO: you are/you love/loves you
· WHAT: you have done/what you haven’t done
· WHERE: you are (were)/you want (wanted) to be
· HOW: you feel about your W’s
Speaking from experience, introspection tends to be a much greater challenge than speculation about someone else. This is made even harder when you must suddenly reckon with your mortality and swallow the pill that the flip side of your WHAT and WHERE might never shift from future plans to past accomplishments.
Here are a few tips I scavenged out (productive procrastination is my calling card) for writing your own obituary:
· Just get started. (Zip it, Internet!)
· Say what your life means to you.
· Find three words to aptly sum up your life and conclude your obituary.
· Plan for an exceptional obituary.
Now I know most obituaries are written in third person (as they are characteristically penned by someone other than the deceased), but as a writer presented with this opportunity, I have no choice but to own it.
I leave not with regret, only sadness and gratitude.
Thank you to the Wright brothers for allowing me to spend time on four beautiful continents. My apologies to those I missed. There’s always next time.
Thank you to my parents for all things, of course, but especially for introducing me to academia; for helping me unearth my passion for writing and literature; for letting me make my own decisions and supporting both the good ones and the bad ones; and for bringing two wonderful siblings (and an adorable Shih Tzu) into my world.
Thank you to my partner and best friend, Michael, for allowing me to fall in love, to become a more balanced individual… and to adopt a fur baby into our family.
Thank you to my friends for being the branches on what became a jam-packed family tree.
Thank you to each of you who have added to the library of loving memories I take with me from this life to the next.
Follow your bliss.
Jessica Reimer (1987 – 2012)
Kudos, Daily Post… Kudos.