This obituary was sent to me in an e-mail, just as you see it here.
It looks real enough, though I don’t know if it is. I wasn’t in the mood to peruse Snopes.com to find out.
But if it is real, I have no idea authored it, nor do I know the newspaper from which it came, but my gut tells me (regardless if it was ever really published or not) that this sentiment is pervasive in today’s society. In that sense, it’s completely real and what it conveys is gut-wrenchingly sad.
The print is small, rather blurry in the reproduction making it damned near impossible to read, so I’ll paraphrase it for you.
This is a death notice for Dolores Aguilar, born in New Mexico in 1929 and died in August of this year. Where exactly is anyone’s guess.
What makes this obituary so distinct and so tragic comes after the introduction of Dolores’ survivors.
“Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by very many; very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting of her passing……We will remember her in our own way, which were mostly sad and troubling times throughout the years. We had some fond memories and perhaps we will think of those times, too. But I truly believe at the end of the day ALL of us will really only miss what we never had: a good and kind mother, grandmother and great grandmother. I hope she is finally at peace with herself. As for the rest of us left behind, I hope this is a beginning of a time of healing and learning to be a family again.
There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart. We cannot come together in the end to see to it that her grandchildren and great grandchildren can say goodbyes. So I say here for all of us, GOODBYE MOM.”
And so closes the book on Dolores Aguilar’s sad, lifeless life.
I didn’t know Dolores Aguilar. I don’t know what made her life as miserable as was portrayed in her obituary. I didn’t know her childhood or the people who might have robbed her of it. I didn’t know her as a teen who might have endured horrific abuses. I didn’t know her as a young woman who might have known hardships; the young mother who could have been overburdened; a middle aged crone who saw loss and grief. Nor did I know the elderly vessel in which she died. I don’t what diseases plagued her body or mind. I didn’t see the psychological demons at play or what experiences and events might have prompted her to become so emotionally isolated. I only know her from the mosaic within her obituary; painted by artisans with brushes of made of bitterness and vivid resentment.
I must admit that when I think about the countless number of people who’s lives she touched and perhaps, even scarred, I get very angry. I can’t help but resent Dolores for sins committed–regardless of the psycho-dynamics that might have fueled them.
I think about her life and the stark contrast to that of the late Dr. Viktor Frankl. The author of Man’s Search for Meaning, was imprisoned in the worst concentration camps in the Nazi pantheon of structured evil and miraculously, he survived. In spite of torture and witnessing unspeakable horror. He did this by willfully going within and finding ways to cling to things on an intensely spiritual level. In the simplest of terms, he survived unspeakable physical hardships by choosing to see the inherent good in anything and everything he could lay his eyes on or wrap his mind around. Spirit is an intangible and that fact was vital for Viktor Frankl. He could escape within and go where the SS guards couldn’t. His joy; his “rina” was made impervious to the evils of hatred.
He exemplified the indomitable human spirit.
Life is meant to be lived. And as Viktor Frankl proved, that statement is true, even if life must be lived behind the bars and electrified fences at Auschwitz. Sadly, Dolores Aguilar and so many people like her never understood that.
This realization breaks my heart yet, I’ve been remarkably scathed by this obituary and the sad life it portrays. To be honest, I’m frightened that some day, the name “Laurie Kendrick” could so easily replace Dolores Aguilar’s. I don’t want that to happen.
The reality is, we’re all born to die. That’s a deal we humans unwittingly make with mortality. We get one shot at this realm; this life. Dolores Aguilar failed at her chance, but that didn’t have to happen. Of course that’s tragic, but what’s sadder is that I’m convinced she didn’t die when she drew her last breath this past August.
Dolores Aguilar’s obituary clearly indicates she never lived.
I can’t let that happen to me. And I’ve been whining a lot lately. I’ve been angry at certain things and bemoaning silly losses. Well, this this is my wake up call. I am determined that my death will only come at the culmination of a life well lived and that will only happen many years from now. In the interim, I fully intend to open my eyes to see what this woman couldn’t or wouldn’t.
Happiness is a conscious decision and I intend to become living proof of that.,