Draft Your Obituary

Practice of the Week
Draft Your Obituary

Category: Occasional: These are practices suggested for "every once in a while." Some of them are responses to a particular need that may arise; others are simply enriching occasional enhancements to the spiritual life. All of them are worth a try at least once. And any of them might become a regular and central part of your spiritual practice.

This exercise is from Robert Hardies. He writes:
I heard a piece on the radio. It was a report from the annual convention of obituary writers in America. I hadn’t realized obituary writers had a convention. But the report revealed some interesting things about the particular beat. It turns out that editors from papers like the New York Times and Washington Post do some calculations to try to figure out what famous people might be dying in the near future. And on the basis of those predictions, editors assign reporters to interview these “subjects” about their lives and ask them how they want to be remembered. Obituaries are written and filed under lock and key until the appropriate time. Apparently, this is how obituary writers stay ahead of the game.

Most of us will never get the opportunity to have a newspaper reporter come to our homes and solicit the story of our lives. And most of us won’t make the obituary page of a national newspaper. But the story of our lives matters deeply too. It matters to us and to our conscience. It matters to those whose lives we touch. To our loved ones. If your faith is like mine and you believe that we all can play a role in shaping the unfolding drama of creation, then the story of our lives matters on an ultimate level, too.

So let us be good and faithful stewards of our lives stories. Let’s pay attention to how the story is unfolding. Go home today and write your obituary as if tomorrow were the last day of your life. Would the story you tell reflect what’s most important?
This week, give it a try! Use your journal -- or any piece of paper, or your computer keyboard.

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List of all weekly practices: "Practices of the Week Index"

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