I am amazed by the multitude of traditions that various cultures observe to honor those that have “left us”. One tradition that I’m very familiar with is the printed obituary that is handed out during the service. For those of y’all that don’t know what I am talking about, the obituary has a picture of the deceased, a short bio, the order of service, and poems or dedications from the next of kin.
Now, I’m not a self-centered person, yet when I’m reading an obituary of the dearly departed I can’t help wonder what my obituary will be like when the time comes. Come on now, the thought has crossed your mind too. The obituary says a lot about a person. It tells their story. I mean you can find out things you never knew about someone, like where they went to school, where they worked (or if they ever worked), how many siblings they had, any note-worthy accomplishments and just how old they really were. If you are like me and you’re not able to attend the service you will ask a friend or relative to pick up an extra one for you.
Bottom line, it’s more than a lifestream, an obituary is like the eternal brochure of your life.
Did you ever attend a going-home service and there was no obituary? Through-out the ceremony you have to keep reminding yourself not to be annoyed because they didn’t distribute any. The first time that happened to me (I was much younger then) I thought that they only printed a few and had run out before I got mine.
My eternal brochure should be full color, printed on nice glossy paper – very polished and professional looking. Featuring tons of pictures of me in my finest hours surrounded by smiling, happy friends and adoring, loving family – oh and plenty of the pictures that I took too!
Wait, just hold on second. Let me rethink this. I’m hearing a song. It’s Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Imagine Teddy crooning: If You Don’t Know Me By Now, You Will Never, Never, Never Know Me.
Yeah, I changed my mind. Just play that song, for those that missed the real “brochure”. Cause it’s their loss.