obituary instructions #sol21 #13

Over lamb chops, we talk about her obituary. Is there a better time? I’m not sure. We’d each had a glass of wine. It helped. I think. She’s very clear on a few things. The verb died. She forbids me from writing a post-mortem that includes the word “passed.” I’m in agreement. “Say I died,” she insists. “I will, of course, ” I respond. “It’s your obituary, so you get to choose,” I offer, and we both giggle. Sort of.

“No photo,”she declares, while buttering her bread.

“Ok, yes,” I say. There is no room for disagreement. And also I agree- those forty year old photos can be so jarring.

She raises her hand into the air and extends her thumb and pointer finger as if to measure something. “This,” she declares, “this is how much space in the newspaper you can have for my obituary.”

I try to concentrate on her fingers while fighting the tears that begin to pool at the corner of my eyes. I don’t want to miss the measurement and try quickly to make a mental estimate of the number of words and lines we might have to work with.

These are our conversations. Good. Hard. Real. Necessary. Onward.

8 thoughts on “obituary instructions #sol21 #13

  1. Your post offers just the right mix that allows us to acknowledge the difficulty without letting go of the care and humor that carry the scene. I wish we were all better at talking about death and taking our final leave. Your post illustrates what’s possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bless you for hearing her voice and accepting her requests. My mom also had clear requests such as NO obituary….because even though she perused the local weekly’s obituary column, she did not want others to do that with hers. “Call this list of people and that is it.” I honored her request even though I did not agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bless you! These moments are tough – I was there with my mom six years ago and more recently my husband was there with his mother. The reality is tough – but not knowing the wishes when the time comes is tougher. And I love the way you used your hand to try to measure the space.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bless you! These moments are tough – I was there with my mom six years ago and more recently my husband was there with his mother. The reality is tough – but not knowing the wishes when the time comes is tougher.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lisa, these sound like difficult conversations. Although, difficult I enjoyed being a fly on the wall while you ate your lamb chops and discussed the details of her passing. It was funny too. I also envy the honest, nitty gritty, and loving nature of this conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I appreciate the frankness of this writing and the conversation itself. It’s so hard to have and so I think we end up joking about it in a morbid sense — at least that has been my own experience with my mom when these topics come up. I think you captured that awkward yet serious nature of the conversation on an obituary and I appreciate you for sharing this slice today.

    Like

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