There was a time I thought people were a little odd or maybe a little too morbid even to plan and prepare for their own funeral. I remember as a young child walking through the cemetery with my grandmother after my great-grandmother passed away. We were there to take her flowers, yet instead of a bronze marker for my great-grandmother, I saw my grandmother’s marker instead – the grandmother I was with at that moment who was still living! I’ll never forget the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and the tears that welled up inside of me when I turned to her to ask, “Why?!” She just smiled and said she wanted to see what it would look like before she passed, so why not? The whole concept was so foreign for me back then and my little mind didn’t want to even think about the possibility of losing my grandmother.
Fast forward about 36 years, and I have actually filled out papers at work for my “pre-need.” I didn’t plan on doing this when I did, honestly. With the news of my needing surgery and the doctor going over what “could” happen, I began to tell my coworker what my wishes were just in case something ever did happen to me. He didn’t want to even consider the possibility when I first started telling him that no one from the outside needs to be allowed to come “see” me. I told him of the “thrill seekers” that are among us who haven’t seen the deceased in years, yet they come to look at their lifeless bodies out of morbid curiosity. No, I do NOT want that at all! I used to work with a girl who told me she did this, so NO!
I don’t want to ever think of anything happening to me because I have two daughters who need me just as much as I need them. However, I have come to realize it is best to make your wishes known. Therefore, instead of just relying on my coworker to pass my wishes on, I walked over to the filing cabinet and pulled out a “pre-need” packet and started filling it out.
I’ll admit I was nervous completing the same paperwork I’m handed daily to input into our computer software at work. I struggled through filling out the paperwork that is used to write a person’s obituary, and then, I did one of the hardest things I think I have ever done. I wrote my own obituary. I sat at my desk fighting back tears as I wrote each word. Everyone wants someone to say nice things about them, and this is especially true when a person passes away. Yet, my obituary will be different. While there will be portions in there about me, there is also a deeper message within the body of the obituary. I have written so that my family will know without a shadow of a doubt how much I love them all and that my love is still right there with them. For you see, death cannot take that away from us … or from you or your loved ones for that matter. Love is eternal, and it lives on within the hearts of those who love you dearly on this earth and those you love as well.
Honestly, I had to stop several times during writing in order to regain my composure. My coworker walked past asking why I was torturing myself. Because, I want to leave behind a very clear message for my family in hopes to comfort them when that time comes. All they will have are the memories we shared, pictures we took together, and words I have written here within the contents of this blog, among the journals I started for them when I was anxiously awaiting their births … and the words written with such love to them in my obituary.