Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How Not to Have Your Obituary Read: "She Was a Pain in the Ass"

I've done a lot of reflecting in the past 2 days.  Ya' see, one of my best friends from childhood died on Sunday from breast cancer at the age of 46.  We first met in kindergarten at St. Mary's School.  We made First Communion together and later double dated to proms together in HS and drank in bars together in college.  We weren't as close as I would have liked in our adult lives but she lived in South Carolina and I lived in Denver and now NY state.  But we did keep in touch.

Anyway, she was awesome.  She was always the prettiest and smartest girl in the class. The boys used to follow her around drooling, but she was never vain and she was always nice to everyone.  She even befriended the less desirables.  She wasn't perfect, she had some trials in her adult life, but everyone still regarded her as a very kind, loving woman.

Which brings me to the point to which I arrived.  I was reading her Facebook page and a condolence book attached to her obituary.  Many people were writing tributes to her.  All of them stated what a warm, kind, loving, caring person she was.  That made me think... what do I want to be remembered for?

I know a lot of people who would want to be remembered as a great athlete, great leader, business mogul, mover and shaker, great tan, big schlong... whatever it may be.  Without much hesitation, my decision was that I want to be remembered for being a loving person and making people laugh.  Not in a vain way, but because all people should laugh and be happy.  I want to spread the fun and joy.  Let's all have a laugh, it makes the world a better place.  I bet all my old time readers didn't think I was such a softie, eh?  Yea, bite me...

 And the loving part?  I'll give you the shirt off my back, but I want us all to respect each other and ourselves too.  I love everyone, but a key part of love is respect.  That's why Wendy and I were friends, we didn't look down upon others, we wanted to include everyone.  We weren't perfect, we still made fun of someone's outfit in high school, but we would usually try to befriend them and eventually give them fashion pointers. lol  The point is, we didn't ostracize people.  We weren't perfect but we weren't haters or bullyers.  I still am not, and I teach my children the same principles.

Oh, and I also want to be remembered for being reasonable and fair.  I hope people would think, "That Madge always made sense and told it to you straight".  I don't know if it would be tasteful for me to have "Madge says: Get your head out of your ass" on my gravestone, but it would be appropriate.

I know it sounds dorky but I always wanted to have "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding?" by Elvis Costello played at my funeral.  Seriously.  I also want "Danny Boy" on the bagpipes and Dennis Leary's "I'm an Asshole" to be played.  Is that weird?  I'm just about love, fun, and family.  Elvis song = love, Dennis song = fun, Danny Boy = family (the Irish thing).  And there better be lots of food, booze, and people laughing and sharing stories there.

Take a look at your life, do you want to be remembered as "she never missed the Kardashians show", or "He was the most hated man in Rochester because he slept with every woman in town and never called", or  "She never left a tip in her life", or worst of all "I don't know what he did, slept and watched porn a lot, I guess"?  Don't be that guy or girl.

So, you... yea you!  How do you want to be remembered?  What traits do you want to be remembered for?  I suggest you start living it today, for tomorrow is not guaranteed.  I say lovingly and laughingly to you, get your head out of your ass and live your legacy!


  1. I'd like to hear how you would like to be remembered. Tell me...

  2. Madge, great blog post. I am sure Wendy would have loved it. Now, I'm not one of those less desirables you guys befriended, right? ;)

    The question you pose is a good one. How would I like to be remembered?

    I'd like to be remembered as a good husband and father - someone who took care of his family the best that I could. I have always been good with the day to day routine .

    I would hope that people would also remember me as that helpful guy who took the time to share his knowledge of things with folks. Now, it might not always be the most useful knowledge and it might not be world-changing information. But perhaps it was a reminder of a little piece of trivia you might have not known or perhaps forgotten over the years.

    Finally, I would like to be remembered as someone people could feel comfortable talking to. Be it in person, online, here or far - I'm there to listen and help if I can.

  3. I think of you as those things already, Martin. I think you've done good. I've always seen you as a guy who loves to talk trivia, music, pop culture, and just plain talk. lol Not in a bad way, like me, you just enjoy people and interesting discussions. You're a good guy, no wonder Wendy befriended you. :)

  4. As I am remembered in life I would like to be remembered after I am gone. I want people to say how I loved with all my heart and even tried to love the unlovable. How I was honest and kind and loved my sons more than life itself. How I always comforted someone and made them laugh . How they know that I am resting in the arms of Jesus .