"Man knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken... and as the birds that are caught..." as the Good Book says. So it is always wise to be prepared. And in our experience, many people are. Kay Heggestad is one: she was tragically struck with bone marrow cancer and decided to write her own obituary. It began:
"Kay Ann Heggestad, bought the farm, is no more, has ceased to be, left this world, is bereft of life, gave up the ghost, kicked the bucket, murió, c'est fini."
She died in January, 2017 leaving a husband, two children and two granddaughters. A doctor by profession, Kay did not want to pretend she was any kind of a hero as a patient:
"No one should say she fought a courageous battle, because she did not! Unlike most folks, she complained all the way. What a whiner! She was ready to quit treatment many times but her family pushed her to continue... she then had time to have parties and say good-bye to friends and relatives."
Kay Heggestad left the obituary on her computer with instructions to submit it to the local newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, which her husband sadly did. And like any good spouse, Kay took the opportunity to get the very last word in:
Our related blog article: "Why write your own obituary?"
And see: "In the Facebook age, more people are writing their own obituary"
Making arrangements for your own, or someone else's passing, can feel like a transgression - an admission that the end is indeed nigh. Culturally, we are conditioned to deny the inevitable - or at least not speak its name. And this is so even more for cancer sufferers who must "battle" to the very end and never give up hope. But planning and doing is therapeutic. And when little more can be done to forestall the inevitable it can be good tonic - and sometimes even good fun - to take things into your own hands.
Kay's family celebrated two "celebration of life" parties while she was still alive. She thought she would miss the third, when she was gone. But she was wrong. She was there in wit and wisdom through all the fond memories and through her own hilarious obituary.