In the days following Maddie’s passing I began reading the LA Times’ obituary section – for reasons a grief therapist could explain, I’m sure – but never stopped. I continue to read them to this day. I do this not to be morbid, but  because I enjoy reading people’s life stories. It is amazing how someone’s entire life – triumphs and failures, family and friends – can be encapsulated into just a few paragraphs. Instead of being depressing, however, obituaries can be uplifting as they show just how much value each person’s life had.  

At least that is how I look at them on a good day. 

On other days the obituaries DO depress me, especially when I read one that includes the word “predeceased.” “Predeceased” is used in reference to a spouse, sibling, or child who died prior to the subject of the obituary, as in: “Mr. Jones was predeceased by his wife Mildred.” Yesterday it dawned on me that this word would be used in my obituary. Despite the fact that no one’s obituary is written until the day they die, part of mine is. 

“Predeceased by his daughter, Madeline, Mr. Spohr…”

There is nothing I can do to change that. I could live to be a hundred, sell more records than Michael Jackson, even become the first person to live on the face of Mars, but my obituary would still include:

“Predeceased by his daughter, Madeline, Mr. Spohr…”

Sometimes it is so hard to stay positive, to forge on as everyone says I must. Part of my life is over and already been written into my obituary even if the rest hasn’t. All I can do, I guess, is to try my best to ensure that the parts of my obituary yet to be written aren’t as sad.