How to Write Your Own Obituary

This is the last Monday of 2013. I always find the passing of each year bittersweet but this year in particular, I am excited for 2014. I am ready to leave 2013 behind and embark on the next year’s journey that hopefully holds many opportunities and possibilities for self exploration, soul searching and of course, new adventures.

Christmas around these parts of New York was quiet but wonderful. Although I only spent an overnight at my parents’ in Queens, I love waking up at their house on Christmas morning. While we don’t have any special rituals, the time together is important and special nonetheless (read: no Christmas jammies in our house). Nothing beats the comforts of the home you grew up in even when you’re 33 and have your own home.

Unfortunately, the excitement of Christmas and the new year was cut short with the news of my uncle’s unexpected and sudden passing on Friday evening. While we weren’t close and hardly knew each other, and the geographic distance between my immediate family and his branch of the family tree was vast, he was my dad’s twin brother and for that I am sad. No one in my family has lived a terribly long life which is concerning and has led me over the past few days to ask myself: How do I want to be remembered?

Which had me thinking about this TED talk from one of my favorite authors:

Yes, seems morbid and who wants to think about their own obituary when they’re still alive? But, the points are valid and very well-made. I have watched this inspiring talk time and time again – it’s worth the 16 minutes of your time – and always come back to it for the sheer reason that a life well-lived, free of regret, and a genuine kindness toward others should be the legacy we strive for every single day we’re here on this planet because, it is not length of life, but depth of life.

How do you want to be remembered? How are you closing out 2013?

11 thoughts on “How to Write Your Own Obituary

  1. Sorry for your family’s loss … it is never easy.

    But it is an important thing – life passes so quickly, it is easy to just drift along from day to day, year to year without thinking if it is headed where you envision. Very interesting approach to resetting your goals!

  2. Kristin, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Wishing your family peace and comfort during this time.

    I want to be remembered as an effervescent. I want people to remember the energy I bring to every situation. There is rarely a time you can’t change your attitude or the attitude of others by bringing positive energy with you. I’m not always that way, but want to be better about it.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss Kristin. There’s never a good time for it, and theres never a ‘right’ way to handle it all. So what I will say, it you are strong and amazing and a true inspiration. I am sure your family is just as amazing and knowing you have each other, I hope that can bring you all some comfort during this time. *hugs*

  4. My dad died when I was in my last semester at ASU, and I feel his absence every day. He never met my husband, and he never knew his granddaughter. What I treasure the most is that while many people expressed how wonderful he was at his memorial, I was reminded of that during his life as well; his friends never hesitated to let me know how special a person my dad was. Sometimes I thought that was awkward for him, to hear someone tell his daughter how “awesome” he was right in front of him. Now, as I’m older and a parent myself, I realize what an amazing gift it was to both of us, and I work to do the same for my friends and their children. We should never wait to eulogize what we feel about our friends and family.
    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss; I hope that you will remember him fondly, even if you were not close. Thank you for sharing this; your heart is so big!

    1. Allison, that’s beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story about your dad. And even though he never met your husband or daughter, I bet he’s looking down on them – and you – every single day. 🙂

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