I’ve been reading a lot of obituaries lately. I guess that’s what you do as you get older.
I check to see who died and if I know them. Even if I don’t, I read about them because I’m interested in how people lived their lives.
But, for the life of me, I can’t understand why they’re so boring. I don’t think most people lead boring lives, but that’s the way their obituary reads. He loved his two dogs. She liked to cook and was a great gardener. He worked for the state for 30 years and was well-respected by his colleagues. She loved her grandchildren.
What boring pap.
Maybe it’s because the person writing the obituaries knew only one side of the deceased. Maybe the funeral home wrote the obituary from a form. Whatever the reason, most obituaries are boring.
So – I’ve decided to write my obituary right now. I’m going to make sure it says what i want it to say. Here it is.
Ken Balsley died today.
He was in the middle of writing a story exposing graft and corruption; pointing out the foibles of our elected officials; working on a political campaign and educating his community about its history.
He is survived by 5 children, 15 grand children, 13 nieces and nephews, a brother and a sister, all of whom he loved.
He is also survived by his wife Jan, who taught him how to be a better dancer, a better lover and a better person.
He had dozens of friends and just as many enemies, if not more. He often said that his purpose in life was to elicit emotions from his radio listeners. Ken didn’t care if it was love or hate. “I just don’t want a community full of apathetic idiots,” he said.
Ken was an atheist. He didn’t believe in the concept of a supreme being.
But, even being an atheist, he wasn’t afraid of death. “I hope I’m wrong,” he said once. “If I am, then I’m on the trail of the best story I’ve ever covered.”
Now, without being to egotistic, that’s one of the best obituaries I’ve ever read. I just hope Jan doesn’t have to publish it too soon.