I’ve written often of my fascination with obituary pages – habit since I began reading newspapers.
Fascinating – to read someone’s words about someone else’s life.
Tragically, many live cut short.
In recent years I’ve seen this shifting ratio – people older than me v. people younger than me.
As mid-life approached, ‘noticing loss of parents of people I knew’.
This gets very personal in that I could relate to contemporaries – too often finding friends on those pages – gone long before their time.
Which brings ‘end of life’ into sharp relief – at this time, when I’ve never felt more positive about health and longevity which causes me to examine something, perhaps universal, about how we view aging and death. Not sure I can describe this effectively but there is a sense of admiration of so many fine people who have accomplished so much in life – their works and deeds of profound importance. As equally, so many solid people who just did jobs, raised families, tended yards, made communities.
Most, lived quietly. Many in obscurity – their ‘one time in the newspaper’, sadly, obituary telling us they are gone.
This causes some mirror-gazing …
How have I lived my life?
Would I be worthy of someone’s admiring words to describe how I lived life, or described my accomplishments? Not so much.
I write this, not to admit remorse for what I haven’t done or how I’ve lived life, but rather to remind myself how much there is yet to do.
And to remind myself how much work I want to accomplish. Ideas to move forward. Things to write. Things to do. To bring some ideas from concept to reality. Feeling better motivated than ever, new stage/phase of life is ahead. Not about money or position, not about cars and houses, not about ‘merit badges’ of career but rather, ‘what needs to be done that I can do’?
Sounds lofty – it is a bit, but it describes in a single phrase, what’s on my ‘to do list’.