In the immediate aftermath and shock of death, information is collected by a newspaper to announce and celebrate a life to write an obituary.
Names…dates…honors…survivors…a picture…a recording of the remains of life.
But what if the dying were able to provide a real tribute to their own lives?
Passions…purpose…highlights…heroes…hopes…etchings of the testimony of a life.
It’s a difficult and brave matter deciding how to define the life you are living–to review it from outside yourself to decide in limited words what will represent your life at its end.
I wondered what questions I would ask to be able to write this type of obituary for another person. So here are the beginnings, the questions, the ramblings of a brain that is throwing around the idea of engraving someone’s life through words.
Here are the first raw thoughts of questions that I think could be used to glean the picture of a life in order to help to shape a story for others.
- What is most important in your life?
- What do you admire about your life?
- What inspires honesty in you?
- What have you spent most of your time and energy on? Why?
- Gratitude…what do you have genuine gratitude for?
- What is it not too late to say? To whom?
- What has “saved” your life today? everyday? this year?
- Be a completely wishful thinker. Tell a wish you have.
- Recall someone who at sometime has been a lifeline and tell the story.
- What do you hope to still be working on when you die, literally or conceptually?
- Who do you call for help at 3 a.m.
- Who do you want to make proud?
- Tell a time you made someone proud.
- What person in your life has offered the most influence? guidance?
- Where have your actions spoken the loudest to demonstrate love?
- Who will miss you? Why?
- Besides those in your immediate family, who contributed to your being well?
- What moved your heart? Tell the story of proof.
This inkling of an idea may never get off the ground, but some brave souls have already willingly offered to pitch their lives into my hands to mold into their stories. Turning this idea into a reality seems a daunting task, but some day it may be trumped by my belief that it is a lasting comfort that the living can have the final lasting words on their lives.