can't you see the sunshine….

Thinking about death

Well, that’s a cheery subject for Spring, huh?   I think it is because I am reading obituaries again.

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The News and Observer has obituaries every day.  At least a full page, sometimes more.  In Italy, when someone died a notice was plastered up on a wall somewhere in town, usually at an entrance  into town.  Always in the same place.  Many times we would pass by and see an older person standing and reading the notice.

Here, this news arrives at my door step every day.  And I do give it a quick glance.  Sometimes more than a quick glance.   You know, it is up to a family member or someone who knew the deceased to write the obituary.  These are very  interesting to read when the writer has really struggled to come up with things to write  that are at least half way nice.   It turns out that my cousin Bonnie is very good at writing obituaries.  (Recently she has had to do it far too often)  She and I were talking about writing obituaries and I was reminded of this woman’s book.  Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons From a Small-Town Obituary Writer by  Heather Lende.  And then Heather Lende was here in Raleigh to speak at a book store.  (this was back in January or February)  I didn’t want to go out in the weather to hear her.  But for someone from Alaska our Raleigh winter must have seemed like Spring.  Anyway, I still wonder what she spoke about.  

And then there is this

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It’s the little hand written notes of addresses that I keep in my card box along with stamps.  I still send cards (actual mail) to people.  I have a number of older relatives and friends that aren’t (for one reason or the other) able to read this blog.  So they get a card or postcard every now and then.  Anyway, when I leaf through this list, which I started when we first moved to Italy, it is sad to see all the names I no longer send cards to because they are dead.

And then there was the discussion I had in the doctor’s office with the nurse.  She was entering info from Ben’s records into the computer and just started humming away.  So I just had to ask about her humming.  (You might remember my earlier post about singing when we entered France during our move. I will also burst into song or hum or whistle when I am happy or relaxed)  And this young woman agreed that her humming was when she was happy or relaxed.  She did not have a relative that did this.  Whereas I have my Uncle John.  I remember as a child that he would sing and whistle.     And then I saw this in an obituary

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In about the middle of the page ” The neighbors enjoyed Bob’s presence, especially listening to his whistling skills while doing yardwork.”    And I wondered will someone write something like that about me?   Maybe I should set to work writing my obituary or at least making some notes of what I want included…..

Anyway, a picture of something living, green and vibrate from a recent plant nursery tour to end these thoughts.


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