A Sudden Death Leap-Frogs Me Into Action

The headlines scream tragedy after tragedy:
Taxi Driver Stabbed to Death at Gas Station.
     Gunman Causes Chaos in Casino Then Kills Self.
          Motorcyclist Killed in Township Crash.
We become immune to the vagaries of fate until it hits close to home. I’m reminded of this as we head into June and I’m attending yet another funeral of a death not expected.

No one can prepare for the unexpected or gross accidental occurrence, but the older I get I’m beginning to see the wisdom of having cemetery plots, casket choice and funeral service details in place rather than leaving to happenstance. And, I think – most importantly – it’s essential to write your own obituary (before death is imminent) to express what you want to be remembered for and how you want to be remembered.

And the obit can even be humorous, as is the following:

“Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God.”

Her husband of nearly forty-six years says the line wasn’t meant as a parting shot at either presidential candidate. Instead, Jim Noland said it was a joke and a way for their children to carry on her sense of humor.”

 Mrs. Noland, 68, of Richmond, Va., died Sunday, May 15, 2016 after a long battle with lung cancer, her husband said. The obituary was written by one of her three sons to capture Mrs. Noland’s spirit and celebrate her essence.

Being a Type A personality that likes to be in control, I don’t want to delegate the task of writing my obituary to anyone else, but me. So last week I sat down and pondered the question, “Who is Iris?”

Not as an exercise in self-absorption, but to craft an image of myself that represents what’s both important and essential to my well-being. And to be used as a starting point of an obituary I will be writing for myself – one that hopefully will lay untouched in a bureau drawer for many years to come. But one never knows.

So, this is ME:

A lover of

Double Bubble bubble gum

Black tights


New beginnings

Enduring friendships

An audacious warrior

A wrinkled visionary

A recovering good girl

An inveterate striver

A wisdom seeker

Whose rambling house is overstuffed with too many books and too much yarn and too many dusty house plants

Whose mind is fascinated by relatively unknown stories

And whose late night eating habit is still her bitch.

One thought on “A Sudden Death Leap-Frogs Me Into Action

  1. Iris,
    Thank you for sharing this. My wife on nearly twenty years just (in the past few weeks) entered the hospice stage of her battle with cancer. It’s been a five year battle but the last 14 months have been truly horrid. We don’t know how much time is left for us…we’re trying very hard to make everyone of them count! Although we’ve talked at length about her final wishes, which are quite simple; the obituary never occurred to either of us. I blog about our journey and of our live together but never this….again, thank you. It’s something we will certainly talk about.


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