Today’s Assignment: Write Your Obituary

When I was in elementary school, one of the teachers who taught religion asked her students write their obituaries as part of their midterm exam.

The concept of writing my obituary, however, scared the shit out of me. It’s as if by writing it, I would manifest my death. And I was not ready to go there. If the now-popular WTF? abbreviation had been popular back then, that would have been the obituary assignment I would have turned in.

I gave a silent thanks that I was not in that class and went about doing more important things like learning barre chords on my now vintage six-string Ovation, and perfecting the swing of my stickball bat until the bruised “Spaldeen” would travel the distance of two sewers and happily bounce its way through traffic on Avenue L.

I Got Older and Went There

The years went by, I got older and hopefully wiser, and after much spiritual seeking, I found myself at the door to … no, not death, I’m still not ready to go there! But I was ready to toy with the idea of writing my obituary.

So I did.

They say at the moment of death, your life passes before your eyes in a fast-backward of all the pivotal moments you lived, and you understand what they meant and the impact they had, not just on you, but on the people who were a part of them.

That happened to me while I was writing my obit.

My life review brought to light many things I had forgotten but were still hanging around in my subconscious — things I should have put to death a long time ago.

I’ll provide a link at the end of this post so you can read the obit I wrote for dear departed Barb.

In the meantime …

I Challenge You …

… to write your obituary. But don’t stop there. Write obits for everything in your life that no longer serves you.

Past lovers, friendships, jobs, dreams, etc. You’ll find that doing so gives you a sprinkling of closure and clarifies the lessons those people and experiences were sent to teach you.

By reviewing them, you get to look back on the lessons you learned with 20/20 clarity, and instead of allowing them to bog you down with regret, you release them with faith that they served their purpose.

Grab your friendly laptop — or pen and paper if you’re old school — and write your tribute to the departed you. If you need inspiration, click here to read about dear departed me.

Thanks to that wise nun who assigned what seemed like a morbid exercise to her class so many years ago, I learned one of life’s great lessons.

I pray you that you learn it too: Live like you were dying … because you are.

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