Strangely enough, I find myself from time to time reading the Obituaries. Finding them to be a sometimes sad but always fascinating glimpse of the not so distant past.
While some may find this part of my morning ritual a bit morbid, a bit peculiar, I do not. Reading the obituaries connects me firmly with the families of my community. The human element. The joy of living, the sadness of death and loss.
The short stay on earth of a child taken. The long voyage of a centenarian found by family or friends taking an eternal last nap while sleeping on the front porch.
Never growing tired of the Transitional story line of ones life, as steps are traced from high school glory years to world war two military draft and service. First loves, marriage, career.
I am often touched by the family tribute given to a Loved one on their way off the planet. Some well written detailed time lines. Others hauntingly quite, and sad in short lined solitude.
These few lines are often the stuff that life is made of. And many times in its brevity and silence, the stuff that life may have been.
All are not Hero's , but most have been brave at one time or another. Some through necessity. Other due to circumstance.
In the end, I believe that we all wish to be remembered by some one. Someone we knew. Someone we loved. Someone that may have loved us. I truly believe that although we as humans are capable of misdeeds and abusive behavior, that the majority strive for some sort of balance and fairness in their day to day lives.
It's funny how fast time ticks by. The written account of our lives for most, is a few paragraphs in a local newspaper written by a family member or close personal friend. That's as good as it gets.
Birth, Life , Husband, Wife, Children, Career, Community Service, Hobbies, all recorded in a few words.
What becomes so glaringly slap you in the face obvious, as you read the obituaries, is that LIFE is in fact as short as Grandma and Grandma told us it is. Shorter for some, Longer for for others.
You come to realize as you read the tributes penned by loved ones, that it's never a good time to pass. Even if you are 110 and die sky diving, Life is too short. We spend too much time worrying about daily World and National events that we can't control. Those that believe in a higher power, leave it to their god.
Others spend countless hours deliberating over the cause and effect of social and economic injustice. Wasting countless hours, Days, Months, Years. One day looking in the mirror and realizing that they too have grown old, missing the truly important events of life.
As a political, economic commentator, I often find myself obsessively absorbed in the washing machine cycle of national events that cram the headlines of the Internet as well as the hard copy Newsprint of our local papers.
Turning to the Obituary page, I ground myself to Earth as I read the accounts of lives lived, and the tributes extended to the passed by the living.
Give it a try sometime. Read the Obituary's. You will gain an appreciation for life. As well as gain a perspective for the posibilities of the future. Through the adventures of the past as told to us in the written memories of those loved ones left behind to carry on.. Raymond Max.