Shall We Write Our Own Obituary?

February 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm 22 comments


Dean: You know the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: “Did he have passion?”

Movie quote from Serendipity (2001)

A fellow blogger finds obituaries appearing in the local papers somewhat cut and dry. Each one appears more like a job description in a resume. It tells of what the person was and what he had done in generic terms that could be easily applied to anybody else. There’s no mention of anything that would make him unique or special. In her words, there’s “nothing of the essence of that person.”

I checked the obituary section of today’s paper and she’s right. It seems that they are based from a set of templates. Just fill in the blanks and you’re done. In a way, I don’t find it surprising. This section is usually assigned to a staff member of the newspaper who’s just starting in the business. It’s where he hones his skills before embarking in more interesting stuff like murder, rape, politics, etc.

The obituary is sometimes accompanied by a picture of the deceased. It could be a recent one taken before he passed away. It could be one from the distant past capturing a signature moment like at the time he joined the military or graduated from college. Actually, it could be any picture that the family wish the deceased to be remembered. For obvious reasons, the exceptions are pictures when he was still a baby or those taken after he died, i.e., whether lying on his deathbed or in the coffin.

The dearly departed look so happy and full of life in their pictures. If they appear somewhere else in the paper, you’d think that they’re still alive. I think they’re worth more than the blurbs that accompany them. In the hereafter, that’s probably how they’ll appear to their loved ones.

The blogger laments a lifetime defined in just one or few paragraphs. She thinks it deserves more than that and suggests that we should write our own obituary before anyone else does.

I don’t think it’s necessary, though. If we live our life right, there’s no need for validation. As a wise man once said, “the desire to do something that shall benefit the world, when neither praise nor obloquy will reach us where we sleep soundly in the grave, is the noblest ambition entertained by man.” And, shall we say, by the opposite sex, too.

Entry filed under: Blogroll, daily prompt. Tags: , , , , , .

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22 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Neutral Universe  |  February 5, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Thanks for the pat about the obituary. So this is where it come from. Great!

    • 2. plaridel  |  February 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      neutral universe:

      i guess it’s serendipity. one thing leading to another. πŸ™‚

  • 3. sub  |  February 6, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    have you read this?

    it was one of the first posts ive read by Ape, since then i became a fan. oh well, read his POV on obituaries.

    *i think i also made one for myself* hmmm

    • 4. plaridel  |  February 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm


      yes, he’s good and he seems to have a lot of following already. πŸ™‚

      • 5. aperockstar  |  May 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm

        thank you sir! πŸ™‚

    • 6. aperockstar  |  May 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      Sub, thanks for name dropping my blog! May ice cream ka sakin pag nagkita tayo. lol.

      • 7. sub  |  May 6, 2011 at 7:43 pm

        ill keep that in mind πŸ˜›

  • 8. Scent of my heart  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Loved the quote for the Greeks and β€œDid he have passion?” πŸ™‚

    • 9. plaridel  |  February 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      scent of my heart:

      i love that quote, too. did you see the movie?

  • 10. Judy Marie Santiago  |  February 7, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Haha. Back in college, we were asked to make our own obituaries for our Advertising Class. The creative that I was, I created something like this:

    Hahaha. But yes, I would want to write my own. Because I don’t want bad english or misspelled words on the last piece of writing about me. LOL

    • 11. plaridel  |  February 8, 2011 at 11:37 am


      nice obit you wrote for yourself. my, you’re so humble. ok, don’t shoot. i’m just teasing you. πŸ™‚

      • 12. Judy Marie Santiago  |  February 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm

        Hahahaha. :)) Funnyyy thanks for viewing my obit. Hope it won’t be published soonest. LOL

        • 13. plaridel  |  February 9, 2011 at 3:59 pm


          i hope so, tool as they say, it won’t be over until the fat lady sings. πŸ™‚

  • 14. ladynimue  |  February 8, 2011 at 6:54 am

    I don’t want to be mourned .. in fact i plan to be remembered always as a poetess and loyal friend .. so I live in a way people will remember me ..

    • 15. plaridel  |  February 8, 2011 at 11:36 am


      i think people don’t mourn for the dead. rather, they mourn for themselves and their loss.

      • 16. ladynimue  |  February 8, 2011 at 11:44 am

        Maybe .. Then i do not even need that …
        Celebrate death as a necessary step in journey of life .

        • 17. plaridel  |  February 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm


          i understand the sentiment completely.

  • 18. aperockstar  |  May 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    β€œthe desire to do something that shall benefit the world, when neither praise nor obloquy will reach us where we sleep soundly in the grave, is the noblest ambition entertained by man.”

    – magandang FB shoutout to ah…

    ooops wala pala kong FB. hahaha..

    • 19. plaridel  |  May 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm


      hehehe. ako rin, wala pa. πŸ™‚

      • 20. aperockstar  |  May 3, 2011 at 8:39 am

        Ape na lang Plaridel! (cant seem to change that aperockstar for some reason lol)

        I still believe in the saying: No FB, no problem.

        Payak na pamumuhay!

        • 21. plaridel  |  May 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm


          i guess there’s just a few holdouts remaining.. everybody i know is already in facebook. oh, well! .

        • 22. sub  |  May 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm

          mismo! i have my cellphone and messenger, i guess that is more than enough for them to reach me πŸ™‚


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