I'm just sayin'

Go Like A Boy Scout, Be Prepared

on August 1, 2012

After reading through the obituaries of my local paper I have decided i am going to write my own obit ( as they call it in the business). If you don’t write your own, those you leave behind can say whatever they want about you and your life and they will. It’s their interpretation. Oh for the most part people write nice things about you after you’re dead. And they can put a picture of you to headline the obituary. A picture they have picked out if you have not specified which one you’d like to have people remember you by. I have questioned some of those photo choices families have made. I’ve read some obituaries that read like a resume’, listing all the work the deceased has done, wherever they’ve done it and with whom. Some obits don’t give much insight into the person. You know the type, he was born, he died. He had parents and two brothers. You fill in the blanks. Was the family too cheap to memorialize them in a 1×8 column in the newspaper. Was there really nothing great to say about that person? And that could be true. If you didn’t like the person in real life does that mean you have to like them in death? What if they were not a nice person, ie Charles Manson, Jerry Sandusky, Hitler, the neighbor who shot my cousin’s dog?

It’s not unusual for the person giving the obituary information to report how one died; Joanie died peacefully. Harry passed away unexpectedly. Minnie went to be with the Lord. Sara died suddenly. Michael died with his family at his side. I saw one today, Mary “passed away suddenly with her family at her side”  What the heck does that mean? Mary’s family stopped by to bring her some freshly baked scones, she puts the tea kettle on sits down and “passed away suddenly with her family at her side”? You have to admit, when a person ‘goes’ like that a big part of the after death job has been done. You don’t have to call your sister and say, “Guess What?” Mom “passed away suddenly.” The sister would have been there, she baked the scones. Now you have to wonder did the sight of the whole family arriving with freshly baked scones send off a red alert to Mary who hadn’t seen all her children together in years. Maybe Mary thought they’re all here to discuss which old folks home they want to put me in. Maybe that scared Mary to death. I’ve been ‘scared-half-to death’ suddenly with family at my side. I’m sure it was my family who tried to scare me half-to-death with a fake mouse in my cupboard. They laughed the hardest. But that would not have been the case with Mary, there was no half-to-death thing about it. She went suddenly.

A lot of people say that’s the way they want to go. Boom. Gone. And it happens. But if  you haven’t prepared for the sudden death all kinds of scurrying goes on. One child scrambling to write something thoughtful, one child scrounging through drawers of old photos to use for the obit, memorial folders and photo boards ( the latest rage of the decade ) . So it is understandable under pressure that someone thinks it’s okay to put a photo from the deceased’s high school yearbook even though she died at 89-years-old. I’ve picked my photo already. And the obit should include, “Although she was not an accomplished equestrian she was the happiest when she sat atop the squeaky, leather saddle of a pony named Doodles.

Just for the record, had I known back in those days that the photographer shackled the pony’s feet together I would not have been too happy. I was so thrilled to sit on a pony I wasn’t aware. I’m sure that is one reason kids today do not have a picture of themselves sitting on a pony all dressed up in cowboy gear.


12 responses to “Go Like A Boy Scout, Be Prepared

  1. M Buresh says:

    Wow that comes off a little harsh considering the circumstances. Love you tho! -M-

  2. willeybelegal says:

    I love that picture. I wonder why they had to hobble that pony? Some ponies have a lot of go to them, maybe it was just you and whoever was taking the picture and didn’t want the pony to run off with you so they hobbled his feet. And I’ll tell you that when I called my grandmother a few months back and said the usual “watcha doin?” and she replied, “well, I just got home from paying for all my funeral arrangements, and she had already written the obituary.”. I did not really know how to respond to that, cry, laugh, IDK. I just said “GRAMMA!!!” don’t do that! I also told her I thought we could handle it if anything happened (well she is 93, soooo…). Anyhoo just wanted to share that. Love your writing!!

    • VirgoVoice says:

      Hobble, that’s the word. I just think back in the day people didn’t have a lot of compassion for animals. And probably liability. What if I had said “giddyup”? Well, I guess this would have been a whole other story. Thank you for reading and the compliment. I love that you love it!!!

  3. Smitty says:

    How adorable is this. I too would not have been happy with the horses’s legs tied together. I, however, was not as fortunate to have my picture taken on a horse

  4. I laughed out loud at this post in spite of myself. Thank you for that 🙂

  5. VirgoVoice says:

    Hope you’re rummaging right now for just the right photo!!

  6. realteal says:

    I think that is the happiest I’ve seen you!
    As to pre-arrangements, I recommend them. Had everything taken care of for my dad in advance and even though his death wasn’t a big surprise, I was glad there were no decisions to be made. willybelegal’s Grandma did a very thoughtful thing.

  7. Pamela Van Gelder says:

    I have to admit I love this picture. It should be on your classmate photo. It is just adorable. I remember a guy came around Armstrong st. once but it was when all 5 of us kids still lived at home and my dad asked for a group discount the man said no he couldn’t do that and my dad told us he was sorry couldn’t afford all of to go. I don’t think Ann & Nickie really wanted to their were a little older but by golly if they weren’t going to get it neither were us younger kids. Oh well the life of growing up and how your parents had to juggle their nickles and dimes.

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