Sunday, August 29, 2004


For my lunch hour on Friday, I went to the courtyard deli. The building that I work in has a wonderful courtyard. It’s an open-air rectangle with umbrella tables and chairs all around the perimeter. It has the perfect combination of glorious sunlight and refreshing shade. The spot just radiates peacefulness to me and escaping for an hour at lunchtime is a relaxing luxury that I’ve begun to allow myself.

As I was standing in line to place my order, I noticed a discarded newspaper sitting at an empty table. The San Diego section was at the top of the stack and I scanned the headlines. After I had placed my order, I noticed that the table was still empty with the newspaper still sprawled on top. I opted to sit inside and read the paper instead of my usual spot out in the courtyard.

I love reading the editorial page, especially the letters to the editor. I tend to read the editorial page first and then scan through headlines for articles of interest. As I was skimming through the paper to the editorial section I felt compelled to stop at the obituaries. The first obituary was for a 37-year-old man who had succumbed to cancer. My eyes watered up as I felt the loss and love of the family he left behind.

I couldn’t stop reading. It became a compulsion to read every single one. As I was reading I began to wonder about my own obituary. How long will it be before one is written for me? Who will write it? What will be said? How many strangers will read it?

I was bewildered by the very powerful, almost epiphanic, experience I was having. I began to feel honored that I had the opportunity to read these obituaries and be a part of acknowledging the life of the deceased.

I guess I feel like my obituary will be proof of my existence. It will transcend me and say, “See, I lived.” I want my existence to matter and most of all I want people to know that I’ve lived after I’m gone: Even if it is something as seemingly insignificant as an obituary. How weird is that?

Today’s Happy Accident: Turtle and I decided to get a puppy!


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