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Sat Apr 18, 2015, 11:31 PM

When her time comes, my lovely mother wants me to write a 'funny' obit for her

She is in her 80's and in very good health, but she recently told me to start preparing a humorous obit for her, for when her time comes, hopefully in a couple of decades.

But here's the thing: She is very sweet, kind, considerate and loving, and she has a good sense of humor. But she doesn't really have any characteristics that one could make fun of, even in jest. We laugh together all the time, but how can one make jokes about someone who is so kind and thoughtful?

I suppose I could write some jokes about other family members and their follies, and believe me, there are many, but I can't think of a single, solitary, funny thing to write about my mom. She is just one of those lovely people who never has a mean thing to say about another being. And let's face it, most jokes are about the follies of humans. What to do?

My inclination is, when she passes, to host a block party with lots of good southern food and alcohol, and let everyone tell their own stories about my mom. I have no doubt that they will all be fond memories of a kind, wonderful woman.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks! - Fleur



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Reply When her time comes, my lovely mother wants me to write a 'funny' obit for her (Original post)
fleur-de-lisa Apr 2015 OP
PoliticAverse Apr 2015 #1
mnhtnbb Apr 2015 #2
Phentex Apr 2015 #6
mnhtnbb Apr 2015 #9
NJCher Apr 2015 #3
pipi_k Apr 2015 #4
dembotoz Apr 2015 #5
Phentex Apr 2015 #7
DeSwiss Apr 2015 #8
csziggy Apr 2015 #10
Phentex Apr 2015 #11
csziggy Apr 2015 #13
Phentex Apr 2015 #14
csziggy Apr 2015 #15
pipi_k Apr 2015 #12

Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sat Apr 18, 2015, 11:53 PM

1. Is there some habit of hers that she does to excess? Always makes too many biscuits?

Attends church even if there is a raging blizzard?
Always dresses formally for dinner?
We all have idiosyncrasies that others can laugh about even fondly.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:38 AM

2. Have you seen this obit?

The woman sounds like she was also a wonderful person, but figured out a way
to leave 'em laughing. It's been making the rounds on fb.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/timesunion/obituary.aspx?n=emily-debrayda-phillips&pid=174524066

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:09 PM

6. This post inspired me to write my own...

I've made some notes in a Word file as a start. Actually, I am quite interesting when I'm dead.

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Response to Phentex (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:22 PM

9. oh my.

I'm at the age where I'm thinking about this, too.

Just attended a celebration of life event yesterday where the deceased had been
planning the music he wanted played since he was in middle school! His wife
tells the story that she heard--on their second date--what he wanted played.

The sad thing is, he was only 63 when he died.

It all goes by so fast. Too fast.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 09:04 AM

3. Listen to Garrison Keillor

He's the model for making fun of "nice" people. Specifically, he makes fun of Minnesota Lutherans.

A classic is how he brings out their passive aggressiveness: "oh no, you go ahead, don't worry about me!"

Anybody who can get as much mileage out of ketchup as he can has got to be a source of inspiration.


Cher

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 12:03 PM

4. Hmmm...

I think I personally would have her write up an obit in her own words.

Then she would be able to poke fun at herself in a way that would be a more personal sort of legacy, you know?

And when the time comes and it's published or whatever, add a notation at the top to let people know that she had written it herself.



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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 12:24 PM

5. is she looking for a smile or guffaws

a smile would be touching--how she did not want folks to be sad, about how she loved to make folks happy.....off to a new adventure....no longer has to swear at scott walker--if from wisconsin.....

guffaws??? good luck with that....i have a very dark sense of humor--after my wifes funeral i made a crack about well i have to start dating again....i thought it was funny--the two folks who heard it still think i am what would you say..... more than a bit off.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:20 PM

7. What are her hobbies and interests?

Did she ever do something completely spontaneous that others might find really out there?

What is the most thoughtful thing she's ever done?

What are her favorite things? Does she collect anything?

Does she have any peeves that pertain only to her?

Does she have any habits that you all have noticed?

I wouldn't say any of these things would be a way to make fun OF her but to show what kind of person she was. The link posted above is an example of a fun obituary that really lets you know what kind of person she was.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:54 PM

8. Interview her as if you hadn't met her before.

 

Ask her about her life and a girl growing up in ** and how difficult things were back then and whether she still misses those days n spite of it all.

Ask her is there anything she'd like a chance to do over. And if she didn't want to tell you then then ask her to write it down and seal it up until the eulogy when you'll let everyone know what it is.

Ask her, if she had the chance, would she like to come back and live again given what she's learned this time. In other words, is life worth all the trouble?

Ask her what advice she'd give to everyone there at her funeral listening to these words. The one nugget of life that she's learned and that she hopes everyone else comes away with knowing too.

- I'd like to see that eulogy myself......

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:53 PM

10. After my Dad died, we talked with his minister and shared stories about Dad

The minister pulled various pieces out and did a wonderful eulogy that had everyone laughing and crying and feeling as though they knew Dad a little better. It was various bits - such as when his secretary told the minister that Dad was on the way into the church office, the minister would tell her to clear his calendar because he knew Dad would spend time talking the town and people he had known in it over the many years he had lived there.

What NOT to do is what my sister's husband did after she died. He let the minister that had not known her before her final illness get up and drone on for 90 minutes in Florida heat. That minister had not talked to her family members, had no idea of what my sister was like as a person and said things about her that were not true and that he apparently used in every canned memorial he did. Even when people at the graveside service began fainting from the heat, he kept going on and on. It made a bad experience even worse.

You had a suggestion to interview your Mom - do that but also interview any of her family and friends you can. Video the interviews to keep for the future. Then from those sources pick out the pieces that show the most about your Mom.

Or, from your own message, do as we did when my brother in law (a different one than above) died - we had a memorial service and everyone was invited to take their turn talking about their memories of him. We all learned little things about BIL we hadn't known and we all laughed and cried together. Then we had food and drinks and spent time together.

There are three different ways to handle it - good and bad. Hope this helps.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 09:41 AM

11. SAME thing happened to us!

Good advice on what NOT to do!

When one brother passed, the service was so impersonal and frankly way too religious compared to how my brother was living at the time. He barely got the name right!

Then another brother passed, and it was whole different story. This priest knew my brother, demons and all, and gave a service that DID have us laughing and crying because it was so him, the human him. Hard to say you can enjoy a memorial service, but it's for the living after all, and we actually felt better.

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Response to Phentex (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 11:36 AM

13. Condolences on your losses

And yes, the memorials are for the living and a good way to remember them, the good memories as well as missing them once they are gone.

My sister was very aware of her "position" in the community and though she never was a regular church attendee, I think she wanted people to think she had gone to a church eery Sunday. When she knew she was dying she reached out to a church but the pastor never bothered going to visit her until she was non-verbal - she died from glioblastoma multiforma and it took out her speech centers pretty early along. The pastor seemed more interested in impressing the upscale crowd at the service than providing comfort to the mourners. I doubt he got any converts especially when he didn't break his speech even when they were dropping from the heat!

I've told my husband I don't care what is done after I'm gone. I won't be there and if he or any survivors want a service of some sort they can pick what to do. If anyone wants, I hope they have a party and enjoy themselves to make up for all the years I haven't socialized and haven't gone to parties!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #13)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 11:46 AM

14. Same to you. We are in the process of changing our wills because

my youngest is about to turn 18. We are registered with the Memorial Society and that takes care of most details but it's time to sit down with both kids and talk about our wishes. If I go first, I trust my husband to carry out my wishes but if he were to go first, it may be trickier. His family would want a typical church service/memorial and we are non church goers at this point in our lives. I would probably have a party with old friends and lots of alcohol.

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Response to Phentex (Reply #14)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 11:59 AM

15. My sister and her husband have pre-purchased their plans

For cremation and for a place to put their ashes in a national cemetery (because of his military service). Included in those plans are directions for what they want for a memorial. That way they don't leave it to others to make decisions especially since they are childless. As soon as I can afford to, I will also make arrangements and pre-purchase a plan for me and for my husband since we're in the same boat.

I definitely do NOT want my youngest sister or her insane oldest daughter involved in any decision about my end of life - and I need to make sure I draw up documents indicating that. That needs to be done separately from re-writing my will (which will disown them) - wills are not consulted until after death, these kinds of documents need to be followed before and immediately upon death. I need to draw up something prohibiting them from going on my property or visiting any place where I am getting care. They got my Dad thrown out of a nursing home because of their crazy antics so it is a real worry for me.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 10:28 AM

12. Something else I just remembered

today is the tenth anniversary of my MIL's death.

She lived with us for six months following her second broken hip. I kept a daily journal/diary, and I made a blog with photos and snippets from the journal, printed it out, and presented to Mr Pipi on her one year anniversary.

This year I posted a link to the blog on Facebook for my extended family and friends to read.

It's a mixture of sad and funny.

I enjoyed making it, and after all this time reading it still makes me alternately laugh and cry.

You might want to consider making up something like that also, so your mom can enjoy it while she's still alive.



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