Starting at the end: Writing your own obituary to figure out the maze of life

woman in mourning at cemetery in fallI recently read a story of a mom who wrote her own obituary after a long struggle with cancer and was able to share it with her family before reaching her end.  Within the obituary she told her story and as she shared it with her family she was able to feel the summation of her life better than any words could ever describe it.  She loved and loved hard and loved sincerely.  The tears and laughter that came with the reading filled in all the blanks and provided all the emotions that without the words would just fall flat without.  In thinking about the story it dawned on me how motivating it is to live, and live well, when you accept that it all can come to an end that dawns most likely without your notice or approval.

Thinking of your obituary is considered to be a pretty morbid thought.  Why think about the announcement of your death when you are still in the midst of your life??  Well the period at the end of life comes for all of us and often if we can see it approaching the feeling is how did time fly so fast? Followed quickly after by the wish to have just a little more time, like a kid wanting to squeeze the last bit of fun out at dusk of a long summer day.   With some courage you accept this truth that as morbid as thinking about your obituary can be, it can also help shape on a daily basis the things you do that impact what will happen the gap in between your birth and your death.

Like a summary of any book, an obituary gives the long and the short of your life in a quick review.  But in these words, as with your life, you can pack quite a punch.  Writing your obituary looks back and ask the question who were you and what did you do to make an impact?  Instead of focusing on the future which we can usually see in the best light, it looks back and only looks back.  Considering what will be written of you can cut out the procrastination and drifting we all can be guilty of and get you back on track to the person you want to be realizing that the time to do it is a gift, not a given.  This perspective can re-energize you to be up for the challenge of living while it is still your challenge.  As with the kid heading in from a day of fun, you can often dream bigger, jump higher, and see the world in more vivid colors when time is almost up.

What would your obituary read if you died today?????

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