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Tag Archives: obituaries

Leave Me Out of the Obituaries and Facebook

For the past week my morning routine has been disrupted. I usually wake up to an alarm at 6:00 am each morning. It’s not a pleasant sounding alarm but it gets me out of bed.

Last week when Daylight Savings Time ended I somehow changed my alarm settings on my radio and I now wake up to a local radio station. It’s a change but I’m not sure for the better.

Each morning this past week when I woke up to the radio station it has been a depressing way to start the day. At 6:00 am on this particular station they read the obituary notices for the deaths that occurred since yesterday and the upcoming funeral arrangements in our area.

I suppose I’m looking at this all wrong. I shouldn’t be depressed because I am here living on this earth another day. Starting the day with the obituaries just isn’t the way I would choose to begin my day. Maybe tonight before I crawl into bed I will remember to reset my clock to wake to the alarm instead of the radio.

As I lay in bed listening to the obituaries being read I keep a mental tally of the ages of all those who have died and quickly average the ages by the number of those who have died. I breathe a brief sigh of relief as I calculate that I am younger than the average age of all those who have died recently. There is always hope for a few more good years, that should be a positive thought but there is a negative thought lurking in the back of my mind at the same time.

After I process the average ages in my mind contented briefly I then move on to my next train of thought which is how many years do I have until I reach the average age? There are not nearly enough years between now and then to carry out all that I had hoped to before I die.

Some people choose to read the obituaries in the paper each day and others discuss them over lunch at work. In our small town we used to know when someone died without reading the obituaries by just driving past the funeral home. If the outside light was on then someone had died and the conversations would start with “Who died?” or “Who is in the funeral home?” or “I saw so and so’s car at the funeral home so it must be someone related to them”.

Most families around here now opt to have the wake at the church instead of the funeral home the evening before the funeral so then the conversation switches to “What’s going on at the church?”, “I wonder if someone died?” I live in a small town of 400 so a death in the community is usually someone I know, some more than others. Hearing about the death of a family member or friend over the radio seems so impersonal.

I’d love to leave instructions for my funeral that my death not be announced over the radio like the local sports scores from the night before but passed by word of mouth among friends and family and definitely not as a Facebook status. Status:Dead …. How cold!

 
 

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So We’re Officially Old, 50 is the New 80

Tonight my husband and I had an appointment at church for our picture for the new church directory.  I went kicking and screaming.  Not really but I really dislike having my picture taken.  This was the first picture we’ve had taken without our children.  The church directory always showed the old retired folks alone with no kids.  They always look like 50th wedding anniversary pictures.  Were we part of that club now?  We’re not that old or are we?

The photographer asked when the last time the two of us had our picture taken together.  I said when we got married.  “When was that?”  He asked.  I replied 1983.  We told him that we had a couple of family pictures taken with our kids but never just the two of us.  He proceeded to set us up for the pictures having us move into various poses and then finally taking an individual picture of each of us.  I said that we really didn’t need separate pictures but he took them anyway.

After the pictures we went to the sales table to decide which picture we would like for our church directory.  We sat down and went through the process of choosing our photo much like choosing a lens for your eyeglasses.  “Do you like the photo on the left or the right better?”  Then they would eliminate the one we didn’t like and add another to choose between.  Once again “Do you like the photo on the left or the right better?”  Once we had narrowed the photos down to the one we wanted for the church directory and our free 8 x 10 then it was on to the individual photos. 

I said “We really don’t need to choose an individual photo because we don’t need any individual pictures for any reason.”

Then my husband said “I think we should look at them because you never know when you need one and we don’t have any.”  

I looked at him and said “What in the world would we need individual pictures for? 

He said “If I die then you will have a picture for the obituary and you won’t have to look for one.” 

“Are you kidding me?” 

He said “You never know when you might need a photo”. 

“What else would you need an individual photo for?”  I asked.

“Maybe if you decided to run for Congress”

“What?”

I had decided before we ever arrived that we would just get the complimentary photo and that would be it.  Suddenly I was sitting next to a sentimental fool who not only wanted pictures of the two of us but individual ones as well.  This is so unlike him. 

“Maybe our kids and parents would like a nice picture of the two of us.”  He said.

“Okay” I relented and said that we could get six 5×7’s: one picture for his parents, my parents and one for each of our four kids.

“What about the individual photos?” 

I said “I don’t think we need any.”

“We really should consider getting some wallet size pictures of each of us” 

I could tell that this was not a battle I was going to win so we ordered the smallest number of wallets we could, nine.

What am I going to do with nine wallet size pictures of myself or him for that matter?  I guess I will file them away with our wills for our future obituary pictures.  Perhaps it’s time for our funeral planning and picking out our burial plots. 

 Suddenly after one hour of time I felt decades older.   50 is the new 80, Right?  I thought it was the other way around.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2010 in Family, Life Happens, Uncategorized

 

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