The last thing I’d typed out was an obituary. The next thing, after this, will be a eulogy. So it goes.
There hadn’t been a tragedy. Just the sort of passing that goes on around the biological finish line. Not that there isn’t sadness. But only the foolish don’t see that the end is just as human as the beginning. And all the stuff that occurs between the bookends. I forget what they call all that.
Right. Life. It’s called life. The stuff in between.
There was this exercise, I recall hearing about. The source is vague enough for me to not tell if it was a fellow human, familiar or otherwise, or it just dawned from some voice in the back of my head. Doesn’t matter much, I suppose.
But the exercise, more or less, was to write your own obituary. Like I said, I have not the slightest recollection where such a concept first called home- but it now seems to be residing quite profoundly in my head. So, let’s waste some time on it. Shall we?
There might be a few ways of going about it. For the thrill-seeking types, you could scribe something out as though tomorrow, or not too many events forward, such a publication would be circulated. The live-each-day-as-though-it-were-your-last crowd might be into that vibe. Could keep one constantly seeking a new glory, a new accolade to pin upon the casket. A motivator and reminder that the dirt is never far off, even for those who max out the time meter.
Could get grim, though. And for those who at times feel less than accomplished, this could easily fall upon itself in disastrous ways. And it’s not as though doom doesn’t seem to linger all about the species, as of late.
And yet, another go at the ‘write your own’ final blurb could pertain to some idea more fantastical. Right up the alley of the optimist, you know? Using some imagination applied on top of a few metrics one measures thine own self upon, you could plot out a future you might deem divine enough to try. And after such a life, it’s conclusion could be sculpted from the greatest hits. A compilation of endeavors and relationships that sum up a soul now free of its meat suit. A dream drawn out of what a life well lived is, in a few concise and crafted lines.
Sounds a stampede of anxiety for the pessimist, I would imagine. Easily falling into the idea of never being good enough. Lack of fulfillment, that sort. A repetitive redundancy of regrets and failures. Ponderings of potential squandered.
Supposing that everyone has a bit of optimism and its inverse in varying degrees, perhaps a balance between could be found in this thought exercise.
And of course, there is the pragmatic approach. For those who get to know that their end is more neigh than not, and still retain the faculties up top to write about their own life- there is the possibility of writing the genuine article. For the elderly, with lives lived full and recollection and ability enough to make it so- what a perspective might be had? To see the points of one’s own life, all weighed out against one another, with no blur into current, and ultimately final valuation of what went down and why it matters. The finer points of our finite existence pulled forth, when all the non-withstanding existential grey matter disappears.
And though it would be understandable were it grimmer for those with time yet still until the impending tragic demise. Though, this might offer up something even more profound, though certainly not for the weak of knees. The terminal typing out the thoughts they have on a life with wishes of more living. What warnings might be waged? Would they tell you to worship and praise the simpler substance of our existence? Or would they urge you into further exploration, as they might have wanted for themselves.
Like I said, I can’t say for sure where the idea of auto-obituary arose. It’s just an idea, heavy though it might seem.
I don’t believe I’ll actually go through with it myself. Not for the time being, at least. I plan to defy the grim specter for much longer, be I always at my best ability to do so. Not counting for the normal chaos, and associate acts- I’ll keep working to fill out the lines. Make a better story out of it, not that it hasn’t been entertaining thus far.
I’ll keep pushing words, as well. Elegantly, when possible. And if not, at least something with some gusto.