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November 29, 2018 | Rick Hall
What would you write? If you sat down to write your own obituary?
Meet Sonia. She died of cancer at the age of 38 and rather than leaving the writing of the obituary to a family member, a friend or the copywriter at the local newspaper, she elected to write the piece herself. And what she penned is something that we all need to read!
My name is Sonia Todd, and I died of cancer at the age of 38. I decided to write my own
obituary because they are usually written in a couple of different ways that I just don't care for.
Either, family or friends gather together, and list every minor accomplishment from cradle to
grave in a timeline format, or they try and create one poetic last stanza about someone's life
that is so glowing one would think the deceased had been the living embodiment of a deity.
I don't like the timeline format because, let's face it, I never really accomplished anything of
note. Other than giving birth to my two wonderful, lovable, witty and amazing sons (James and
Jason), marrying my gracious, understanding and precious husband (Brian), and accepting the
Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior - I have done very little. None of which requires obit
space that I have to shell out money for.
I also didn't want a bunch of my friends sitting around writing a glowing report of me, which we
all know would be filled with fish tales, half-truths, impossible scenarios, and out-right-honestto-
goodness-lies. I just don't like to put people in that kind of situation.
The truth, or my version of it, is this: I just tried to do the best I could. Sometimes I succeeded,
most of the time I failed, but I tried. For all of my crazy comments, jokes and complaints, I
really did love people. The only thing that separates me from anyone else is the type of sin
each of us participated in. I didn't always do the right thing or say the right thing and when you
come to the end of your life those are the things you really regret, the small simple things that
hurt other people.
My life was not perfect and I encountered many, many bumps in the road. I would totally scrap
the years of my life from age 16 to 20 ... OK, maybe 14 to 22. I think that would eradicate most
of my fashion disasters and hair missteps from the '80s. But mostly, I enjoyed life. Some parts
of it were harder than others, but I learned something from every bad situation and I couldn't
do any more than that.
Besides there are some benefits to dying youngish, for example, I still owe on my student
loans and the jokes on them cuz I'm not paying them. Plus, I am no longer afraid of serial
killers, telemarketers or the IRS. I don't have to worry about wrinkles or the ozone layer and/or
hide from the news during election season.
Some folks told me that writing my own obituary was morbid, but I think it is great because I
get a chance to say thank you to all the people who helped me along the way. Those who
loved me, assisted me, cared for me, laughed with me and taught me things so that I could
have a wonderful, happy life. I was blessed beyond measure by knowing all of you. That is
1/2 what made my life worthwhile.
If you think of me, and would like to do something in honor of my memory do this:
- Volunteer at a school, church or library.
- Write a letter to someone and tell them how they have had a positive effect on your life.
- If you smoke - quit.
- If you drink and drive - stop.
- Turn off the electronics and take a kid out for ice cream and talk to them about their hopes
- Forgive someone who doesn't deserve it.
- Stop at all lemonade-stands run by kids and brag about their product.
- Make someone smile today if it is in your power to do so.