Reading the Obituaries – An Eye-Opening Experience

For some odd reason, I now find myself looking at the obituaries in the newspaper on a semi-regular basis. Thankfully, I never find my own name in there, but the practice does freak me out sometimes. I feel like a senior citizen, checking to see if any of the dearly departed are friends or acquaintances I need to pay my respects to.

What I have found however, is a very discouraging trend – the age of those listed in this section is getting younger and younger. Sure there’s a handful of those fortunate enough to reach the age of 78, 85 and just the other day 94.

But over the last week, I’ve also been humbled to find a loving wife and mother who was only 45, a cherished son who was 35 and probably most heart wrenching to me, a young daughter and sister who was only 2 years old. Her demise still seems impossible to me even as I type it – the end of her life coming way too close to the beginning.

I’m starting to realize that our lives here on earth come with an expiration date, which can sometimes be sooner than we might expect. We’re naïve to believe that we’ll live indefinitely and that time is always in abundance – continually putting off today what we can do tomorrow, but tomorrow might never come.

Our lives are about setting priorities, and maybe one of those priorities should be to live today like there’s no tomorrow. Maybe then we’ll understand what’s truly important in life and that’s the people we are so blessed to share it with. Possessions, status and fame mean very little when we reach the end of our lives and they’re chiseling our name on a tombstone. What matters most is the impression we were able to leave on someone’s heart.