By Matt Lewis
This will be the third obituary I will have to write in my life (okay well technically fourth, but one I don’t count). The first was for someone who wasn’t even going to die anytime soon. The second was a professor at the University of Arizona. The third was my mother’s (I was only 22). The fourth will be my paternal grandmother’s.
I don’t know why sadness must consume me when I’m writing these obituaries (even for the guy who wasn’t going to die anytime soon) but it does. I also find it very disconcerting writing a document that will be the final document honoring a person – it’s a lot of pressure.
I never know the right words for eulogies, but at least with obituaries they are straightforward.
Here’s the obituary I wrote for my mother:
When things get tough, the tough get going as the saying goes, but for me it is not that simple. You have to have an extra thick skin to write obituaries – I believe – especially if that person is close to you.
There is also a lot of questions that have to be answered when writing an obituary and the more questions you have about a family member the less you feel like you knew about their life, which can make you even more sad.
One of my father’s friends told me it is an honor to be chosen to write the obituary. I told him it was only because I was the resident journalist in the family. He shrugged it off and said it was still an honor.