Increasingly, I find that on a daily basis, I am reading the obituaries in the newspaper. I know from conversations with some of my older relatives that they too report a regular review of the obits.

My understanding is that they are looking for the names of people they know, particularly friends who they may have lost contact. I also look for familiar names. However, I also study what is written about the person. In all honesty, I do find my mind wandering, contemplating what my obituary will say. I think about how people will respond to seeing my death notice. I wonder if they will feel positive things about me, or remember something negative that might have passed between us. Actually, I wonder if they will even invest the energy to have any sort of response.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW