Writing the “Hook” for My Obituary

DeathI generally try to come up with blog posts all on my own. Well, mostly my own. But today I’m shamelessly borrowing from my friend Jamie Chavez who brought Harry Stamps’ obituary to my attention in one of her posts last week.

This is the BEST obituary ever written. Shoot, it’s one of the best essays ever written. If you only ever click on one link I post, click on this one and read Harry’s obit in full. It’s awesome.

Here’s how it starts: “Harry Weathersby Stamps, ladies’ man, foodie, natty dresser, and accomplished traveler, died on Saturday, March 9, 2013.”

Talk about a hook! Here’s how it ends: “Finally, the family asks that in honor of Harry that you write your Congressman and ask for the repeal of Day Light Saving Time. Harry wanted everyone to get back on the Lord’s Time.”

How can you not click over and read all the fabulous stuff in the middle? It was written by his daughter, Amanda Lewis, who apparently knows how to fish and choose a good hammer thanks to her dad.

Which got me thinking. No–not about whether my hammer is good enough–but whether my obituary will be worth reading. I once would have considered that in the context of accomplishments, now I’m thinking style.

Sarah Anne Loudin Thomas, perpetual optimist, secret junk-food snacker, and author of (what? at least a dozen?) best-selling novels passed away ________. Sarah died peacefully at home after eating a hot fudge sundae and while re-reading “Little House on the Prairie” for the bazillionth time.

While she had no children of her own, she was notorious for “borrowing” her nieces, her nephews and the children of her friends just long enough to make them difficult for their parents to handle. She loved to cook and even more to eat, but scoffed at anyone who used the word “foodie” or went on and on about eating what are basically weeds. While not a fan of fast food, she was never too proud to thoroughly enjoy drive-thru French fries. Lots of them.

Well–you get the idea. While it isn’t much fun to think about dying, this exercise really is a blast. So how about you? What would be the one-sentence “hook” for your obituary?