A blog by Lori Lyons

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The story's end

A hush fell over the marsh on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011, as Donald put away his pirogue and fishing poles and went home to be with his parents, Donald Sr. and Cecilia.

I did not know Mr. Donald, but I hope he finds peace in his eternal rest. He sounds like a great guy.

I know this because those he left behind thought enough of him to put some thought and care into his obituary.

Most people don't.

Most people follow the staid old formula:
Bob Jones, 92, died Saturday.

I know that formula because, like most journalists of my generation, I got my start in the newspaper business writing obituaries. And they ALL followed that same, staid old formula.

But as newspapers began to shrink, so did the obituary. Used to be, anybody could get a nice little write up in the local daily. Nowadays, you have to be almost famous.

But the story of your life can be bought as ad space -- sometimes at a hefty price. And once family members began to realize that they were buying all those inches in the back of the Metro section, they started to do it "their way."

I have noticed the trend.

Harriet Hunter, famous for her chocolate cake...

William Wallace, who never passed up a chance to argue...

And Mr. Donald, who apparently was very loud in the swamp.

I love it.

And it makes me wonder... What would I like MY death notice to say?

Besides the

Lori Lyons, 102,
part I mean...

Shouldn't this be something we ALL contemplate, along with the disposition of our estate and who will get all of my shoes when I'm gone?

It's not being morbid. It's being realistic. We aren't getting out of this alive. And someday, our entire lives -- who we were, what we did, all that we accomplished and left behind -- will have to be summed up in just a few paragraphs...

Written by a stranger?

I think not!

So here is what I'd like my death notice to say:

Lori Lee Ann "Lolo" Lyons Luquet, 102, a writer, left this earthly life and has moved to the beach, where she plans to float on a raft on crystal clear blue waters, entertain her family and friends and every dog she ever loved, and drink pina coladas for eternity.

She was a damn fine sports writer, a wife, mother, stepmother, daughter, sister, aunt, grand-aunt, cousin and friend who loved cheap wine, cold beer, festive cocktails with little umbrellas, a good steak, boiled crabs, Brown's Velvet Pecan Krunch ice cream, chocolate covered cherries, music from the 80s, Old School Jam, playing the piano, throwing great parties, early morning walks, The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Pensacola Beach and her backyard swimming pool.

And her friends and family.

That'll be $395.25.

Now to choose a picture....

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  1. Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  2. I love how your death notice would read. Wow, 102? I'd like to see which picture you'd choose. :)

  3. I used to do data entry of newspaper articles about people in North Carolina and I had frequent flyer miles for the obituary section. It's one of the only ways to find an actual (or approximate) birth or death date.

    I like your write up much better than most of those I had to read... cherries and ice cream included.

  4. I'm still working on that picture...

    Renbimo... Don't know which is worse, having to write them or REwrite them...

    Thanks for reading and for writing...

  5. I like the sound of that. Look me up when you get there and we'll have some pina coladas.

  6. You're such a great writer, Lori. Will you choose a young photo or a more mature one? ;)

  7. My favorite line . . . "and every dog she ever loved."

  8. I might choose an old photo and a young photo. That's the new trend these days. ..

    Thank you MamaMash!

    I forgot the one cat...