Reality Check – Writing Your Own Obituary


I’ve shared my thoughts about Self-Awareness, Faith, God, the concept of “Being” and Free Will.  All somewhat abstract, yet oh so real concepts that define, frame and help us comprehend who we are and what we’re about.  One exercise I learned as a high-school student, however, stands out above others in not only communicating to others who we are, but in viewing ourselves through the eyes of others that intimately know us as well as those that do not.

That exercise is writing your own obituary.  It may seem morbid at first blush, until you consider what an obituary really is at its core and what it concisely frames for others to see.  An obituary is a recounting of someone’s life, the choices they made, the people they associated with, the obstacles they faced and overcame, the items they deemed highest priority, the circumstances they met, the legacy they leave behind and the manner in which they left this reality.  It is your biography in condensed form.

In truth, an obituary is so much more than a paragraph in the local newspaper.  It is a testimony and story that summarizes and distills the being of a single child of God and communicates how a person prioritized their life and what they emphasized as important.  In many ways, it reveals the character and personality of an individual and encapsulates the essence of their being.

Ironically and unfortunately for each of us, it is precisely these bits of information, insight and compassion that would be much better served if they were known by others and in some cases, by us, before we die and leave the world to speak no more.

So, what better way to look at ourselves, our lives, our decisions and priorities than to compose and conduct that symphony of life with our very hands.  What is produced as the outcome of the exercise will undoubtedly be an uncanny perception of our being that may or may not reflect who we really think we are.

In essence, it is that Ebenezer Scrooge moment of clarity and introspection, hopefully absent of remorse and abundant with just what value or quality we added to the world by our presence.  At best, it will present an argument for personal change in certain areas of our lives that need better alignment with our spirit and soul.  Most importantly, it provides that opportunity, that luxury of time for us to recognize and implement that change.

Take the time to recognize who you really are.  You may just get the surprise of your life!

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About MW Cerkas

Compassion for People, Passion for Writing, Living my Conscience; "Look for the Good, Always" Positive, Creative, Seasoned Writer, Leader, Marketer, Authentic Spirit, Entrepreneur. Continuously seeking the GOOD in others and how to HELP them. Paying it Forward, Preparing for Eternity. Be well!

Posted on September 7, 2012, in Personal Growth, Philosophy, Truths, Videos and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Micheal Tyler, 19, of Louisiana, died January 28, 2015. He was born December 5, 1994, the son of John and Lacy Tyler. He graduated from High School in 2013, where he was a member of the student council and the basketball team. He was currently enrolled at The University of Alabama majoring in computer science. Micheal is survived by his parents John and Lacy of Clinton; his brother Chad and his sister Karen. Funeral arrangements are being handled by the A. Hamilton Platinum Funeral Home. Calling hours will be Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9pm. The funeral will be held on Thursday at 9:30a.m. at the funeral home and at 10am at Grace Episcopal Church.

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    • Lacy, I am very sorry for your loss. As you, I express my grief through writing. It serves as that relief valve to de-stress and find clarity, peace and hope in my life. I am curious how and why you leveraged this story to post your loss… Please let me know. Be well.
      – Michael

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