On Saturdays I read the obituaries section in The Winnipeg Free Press, my hometown newspaper in Canada. I often recognize familiar names of people in my past, many of whom I’ve lost touch with over the years.
Decades ago I took a Creative Writing class in college. One of our assignments was to write our own obituary. At the time my children were young and I recall struggling with this concept.
Eight years ago I actually did write my own obituary. It was just before I had my first knee replacement. My mother had died from complications after having that surgery, and I was terrified that the same fate awaited me.
Well, I survived that first surgery and the following year I had my other knee replaced. That obituary was tossed long ago.
My children and I live thousands of miles apart in different countries. They know very little about my life, other than that I divide my time between somewhere in Mexico and Leavenworth, Washington. They have never visited me in either place and have not met many of my closest friends, nor have they seen the places where I’ve lived. I don’t think either of them can quite understand why I chose to stay in Mexico rather than return to Canada during a pandemic. And they have voiced the idea that I must have a death wish if I want to go back to Leavenworth rather than return to Canada.
Recently the topic of obituaries has arisen when I talked with friends who also live far away from their families and have similar circumstances. Perhaps a bit on the morbid side, but we wonder what our children would say about us if they had to write our obituaries today.
In all honesty, I have trouble just keeping up with holographic wills because I move around so much. Writing an obituary is the last thing on my mind right now.