How does one describe a book about the writing of obituaries without becoming maudlin? It is easy when describing this book, written by an obituary writer. It is simply not depressing, rather it is absolutely inspiring. The author’s approach to life moved me to rethink about my own approach.
This brief book is about a subject few people talk about, because obits, by their very purpose and nature, instigate thoughts of death. Now who really wants to think about their own expiration date? Yet, this author has written a somewhat humorous and heartwarming message for the reader, as she relates her own effort to always try to find something good to record in her obituaries; she always tries to find something that is personal and heartwarming to say. In this way, she can send a message to the mourners that will lift them up and enable them to celebrate the life of the deceased, to alleviate their sorrow rather than break them down emotionally. When describing a man who failed repeatedly to repair his fishing nets, she made it sound positive and amusing since it was the holes in the net that enabled some fish to escape to live another day. The irony is that she brought life into the very place of death and eased their pain.
As I read her descriptions of the people she has written about and learned about the basic facts of her own life, I found that her simple message and lifestyle encouraged me to stop thinking about what I might not have, but instead to choose to look for and appreciate the good things that I do have in my life and all the good things I have had as well. Is my glass half full or half empty? It is definitely half full. The joy of finding whatever “good” news there is in a situation instead of looking for and dwelling on the “bad”, improves one’s life markedly. So let’s all find the good, shall we?