Monday, April 5, 2021

I read the obits now. Every day, in fact.

I've heard it said you know you're old when you start reading the death notices in the paper every day.

This assumes you read a paper, which I do but most people don't. And it assumes you're old enough to have friends and classmates passing away in significant numbers.

I am not yet of that age, but I do regularly spot the parents and grandparents of my peers on the obituary page. I'm also just generally fascinated with the lives people have led as summed up in those few paragraphs.

The creatively written obits are my favorites. Oftentimes these are inspirational and true celebrations of the person's life.

When I wrote my mom's obit last summer, I did it in a pretty straightforward way. In retrospect, I wonder if I should have put in a little more effort to let people know how incredible she was.

On the other hand, the people close to her already knew that, so maybe that's all that mattered.

I also read the death notices because, well, statistically speaking, I am probably on the downhill side of life. Very high up near the peak, hopefully, but still...I've likely lived more years already than I'm likely to live still.

So in the back of your mind are all of the things you want to make sure you do while you still can. I may have 40 or even 50 years still to do these things. Or I might have 5. Or I could have a single day.

You don't know in advance your own expiration date, and that's a good thing as long as you live your life in the most satisfying way possible, whatever that is for you.

So yeah, I read the obituaries. And no, I'm not 85 years old. Yet.

Sooner than I think, though, I will be.

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