Sunday, November 7, 2010
Your Last Sentence
In our circle of daily life, we are mindful of the necessities and tend to stay automated in actions and conversations with our daily duties and mingling acquaintances. I love to learn about the hidden talents, careers, service, and personal inspiration stories we miss in our local personal circles. The world is vast and when people share their stories or uniqueness, life comes to new light. Like fountain pen collectors, typographical error hunters, the truth about Houdini. I don't know about you, but those are not topics I would randomly think to research. Yet the stories that come from them and topics like them are intriguing.
One story stayed with me last week and got me thinking. The story involved noted writers of obituaries. These are talented writers who write about the dead for a living. OK, I don't want to lose you in your train of thought heading to the morbid light, so I will get to the destination point. What I was particularly drawn to was the professional creative element of a sort of tag line for each decedent's column. In one sentence the reader is given a thought provoking few words about the departed that they are about to reflect about. These writers are breathing new life into an ordinary custom. (Excuse the pun.)
It got me thinking about what one sentence would be used to head up my obituary?
The new breed obit writer is resurrecting what would seem like a dead-end job. (Oops sorry again...) The writer contacts the departed's family and interview them. From the interview they 'learn' about the ingredients that contributed to the life they are about to reflect on and share with those who knew him. From all the data, they come up with a one line tag to open the obit. Then the obit is full of anecdotes, compliments, and a summary worthy of a Pulitzer. Jim Sheeler even went so far as to pen a book called Obit: Inspiring Stories of Ordinary People Who Led Extraordinary Lives, filled with some of his best obituaries. I guess that sums up another point. All of us think we lead ordinary lives, but in the end I bet we are each extraordinary.
What would your sentence be?
There is a Society of Professional Obituary Writers. They highlight members and some of their work. Examples included: Herbert "Herbie" Speach, a man who cashed in without the world owing him a dime. And, Sarah Hanton, a woman of mystery and magic and God.
You know the song that has the lyric, "Live like you were dieing?" Well, while you are 'living' remember someone will write your last sentence or give a writer the summary to create one. The last sentence.... the thing that ties it all together.
I hope I can leave enough positive irony in life for a good read. I don't want a boring last sentence. I hope my daughter is proud of me especially. I want people to smile when they read it.
Yikes, I don't want this post to be my irony! So off I go to be extraordinary or doing something worthy of earning a good last sentence.
Posted by Lora