Tag Archive: obituary


i logged on to the internetweb late last nite after a busy day needing to write an article before i went to sleep and was greeted by the sad news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s passing…

i did what i do any time i hear a famous person has died, which is type ‘Philip Seymour Hoffman dead scam’ into Uncle Google to check on the legitimacy of the news and sadly could tell pretty quickly that it was a true account. What made it even worse [and the same thing happened a week before Paul Walker’s death ironically] was that there had been a Philip Seymour Hoffman is dead scam earlier in the week. But all the major news outlets were now reporting that at age 46, the academy-award winning actor had been found dead, with a huge possibility of it being caused by drugs.

and i read a whole page worth of what other celebrities were tweetering and saying in response to his death, with so many of them calling him, ‘One of the finest actors of his generation’ and i started to wonder if he ever got to hear that live…

recently i shared this post about my 40th birthday party that just happened and how my wife secretly organised a boob cake for me [yes, that!] because it was something i had wanted to have at my funeral one day [can’t even remember how that idea started but probably from the perspective of creating awkwardness vibes from beyond the grave] and filled the celebration with other things i wanted to have at my funeral, made all the more better because i actually got to experience them.

the point being that so often we hear things at funerals that the dead people never got to hear while they were alive, and while we like to entertain the idea that they are peacefully stretched out on a fluffy white cloud listening to our every word, we don’t know that that is the case and it may well be that they get to hear nothing that we say once they have passed on.

Don’t wait until it is too late. Find and create opportunities to say your things to your people now. Philip Seymour Hoffman was 46 and I’m sure no one saw it coming.

Whether it is a handwritten letter [how special are those these days] or a card, an email or a conversation or whether it’s taking the lead of tbV and organising a celebration [does it even need to be for a birthday?] where you make space to speak life and appreciation and get to tell stories about your friend or family member while they can still appreciate them.

thanks to tbV and a whole bunch of my friends, about a week ago i got my boob cake and i got to hear stories and relive memories and be hugely encouraged by what people have seen and experienced with me and it was so life giving. who do you need to do this for? don’t wait too long…



i read an exercise in a book the other day that encouraged us to imagine that we had died:

‘what do you hope the people closest to you might say at your funeral?’

‘what kind of obituary will they write about you for the local newspapeR?’

[from Free: Spending your Time and Money on what matters most, by Mark Scandrette]

in answering those questions we have to realise that nothing is going to magically happen one day for those things to suddenly become true

if it’s not true now, then it’s very likely not going to suddenly be true later

the truth is, your obituary writing starts here

it starts now

and you write it

not physically, but by the way you live your life, how you speak, what you give your time and money to

do you think you would live life any differently if that was the first thought on your mind as you woke up to start a new day?

my obituary starts here

now, how am i going to live, to make it a good one?

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