Immortality

This story is part of a blog-off series with a group of bloggers from different professions and world views, each exploring a theme from his/her world view. This was about answering the big question, “who are you?” by writing your own obituary in 208 words or fewer. It was originally published on January 4, 2011.


I was struggling with how to go with writing my own obituary. When the idea was thrown out, it was at first exciting. Then it felt kinda weird, like the urge to giggle in church. At one point, I was going to just reject the premise and write something hokey that avoided the whole exercise altogether. In the end, I decided that I would play this one straight.

While it is not the whole me, parts of it are pretty darn close. Not close enough to get burned, but maybe enough to get a tan.

Rufus Dogg died today and that’s ok.

He never wanted to live forever and always knew he would go to heaven because that is where all dogs go. But he wanted to “be” forever. To that end, he chose to write because words were the most creative material that survived all mediums. You could burn the book but the words endure. The battery in the Kindle may die, but the words endure. The memory may fade, but the words — passed on to a younger generation — would endure.

He ate ice cream in the snow, he drank coffee in the sun. He told the truth too eagerly to strangers to make friends and lied too easily to friends to make peace. He wore the coat of a warrior and had the eyes of a lover. He barked fiercely but never bit anyone. And he was kind to cats.

He wrote what he felt and edited out what might hurt others. Sometimes he failed, but he always tried his best. And while friends came and went, he kept each in his heart and in his words.

And he finally learned to play the banjo well enough so other dogs would want to howl along.

There are always more words to write, but I think that’ll do. And to the local newspaper, I’m not really dead. Really. But if I die any time today, you can just copy/paste this obit. Unless I achieve world peace before midnight. That accomplishment you can include, but only as a footnote.