My mother was ill for a number of years, and when she needed "constant" care, we decided on a care situation knowing that it was a matter of time...perhaps a longish time or a shortish time...no one really knew that. But I did know that I would be turned to for the obituary, and that I lived on the other side of the country where I worked full time. Would I have time to sit down and write a good obituary then? Probably not. So I wrote it 'now' -- and then to be sure things would go right, I sent it to my sister-in-law, the filing expert in the family. More than four years passed, and then mom suddenly became quite ill and died within a matter of a couple of weeks. Was I ready? Of course not. There were people and plans to make for work, there were people to notify for my daughter's school absence, there were clothes to gather and a couple of things that needed to be purchased, plane reservations, money in hand to obtain, on and on. The fact that I knew I had done the obituary...with blanks left for the final dates and places...was one of the best gifts I ever gave myself. I could deal with all the 'at home' preparations and head for the place of gathering friends and relatives, without trying to create an "on the fly" obituary at a tense time and worrying about possible errors creeping in. Now many years later, and with no one else that I think knows me "well enough" I am going to get going on writing my own obituary...to relieve my daughter of the task, and to be sure that the names and spelling (that she may or may not know) all get done right for posterity.
My father had given us the wonderful gift of writing his own obituary.
Me, too. No one knows me like I do.