I love reading well written obituaries. I usually find them in the AJC or other (non-local) newspapers. For some reason, it’s as if we here in the Columbus area lack the creativity to write a really good obit, because frankly, it’s not from lack of inspiring and creative people in our area.
Mrs. Tanner must have been a heck of a lady to have an obituary like that. No, she didn’t cure cancer or invent some life changing product. But she did touch the people around her. She was a good wife and mother. She was involved in her community. She supported her husband and children and it is obvious that they felt her love. And according to her obituary, she was a true friend, kind and compassionate. I didn’t know her, but after reading that, I wish I had, don’t you?
Obituaries are a synopsis of one’s life and should tell the stories that meant the most to the deceased as well as their family and friends. Inspiring obituaries are not the sole property of those who are well known or wealthy or famous. Inspiring obituaries belong to those who lead inspiring lives.
So, what defines inspiration? Is it wealth and fame? Is it miraculous discoveries? While I am not saying that these things cannot inspire, allow me suggest that the greater inspiration comes from a life well lived, full of grace, kindness, compassion, and love. A life given to respect of others, self, and country. A life not lived centered on itself, but on others and their well-being.
What do you want people to know about you when you are gone?