What I learned from dying: My obituary
Lately I’ve been hurting all over and it’s gotten me scared that my cancer is growing and spreading. That fear has returned my thoughts to my obituary, which I had planned to write but then got busy living and let it go.
How do you sum up your entire life into just a couple hundred words? And why do most read like a resume rather than a way to know the person who died? Obituaries go in depth about things no one wonders about during life, like what years someone worked where and who else in their family is also dead.
I wish I could include things in mine that would give the reader some idea of what kind of person I was. I want to make it so that the reader would know things about me that only those who truly knew me would know.
Dave Taylor passed into eternity yesterday, and boy did he love stickers. He had a whole stack of them from when he was a kid and he even had one custom made of his Eames Lounge chair and he stuck it on his car.
He was preceded in death by his grandmother Irene Taylor and he had almost 20 steering wheels in his garage, mostly from VWs, because he kept finding deals on them in junkyards.
And speaking of junkyards, he used to make a point that whenever he was in a new town for more than a day, he’d find the local pull it yourself yard and spend hours in there looking through junk cars and he inevitably found some great deal on some part for a car he either had or planned to have. Sometimes he’d buy a part and put it straight on eBay and make some money.
He had a long career in print journalism and he was so self conscious, or possibly vain, that he watched himself adjust his glasses several different ways in a mirror and chose the method that looked the coolest.
He was born to William David and Kathy Taylor and one of his greatest loves was also his greatest moment of shame when he applied to go to the school of architecture and furniture design at the University of Kentucky. He’d been told he only needed to be able to sketch his ideas out but during the test he saw these brilliant artists with incredible skills and he had to place his horrific elementary school drawings beside theirs in a hallway display and he wanted to run out of the building.
He is survived by his sister Georgia Smith and he loved long drives because he could wander and make as many stops as he wanted. On his last drive home from Colorado he added 10 hours to the trip by simply walking around Walmarts and looking at random downtowns. He was threatened by a gang member in Kansas City who showed him all of his bullet scars but it made the most interesting story about the trip home.
He’s also survived by his wife Jamie and boy, Dave could daydream like a champ. It was one of his favorite things to do and he often said he did his best thinking when he was supposed to be thinking about something else.
He was most recently the news editor at the Hancock Clarion, but he also loved the feel and look of leather so much that as a kid he begged his grandmother to make him a set of full leather pajamas. She did not.
I acknowledge that it’s a little awkward to fit some of this stuff into a standard obituary layout, but isn’t it more interesting and informative than the usual obit?
I truly pray that I don’t need an obituary for many more years, but I’m going to do my best to be ready with one, hopefully one that’s not too boring.
I have another CT scan on May 4 and I get the results May 5 so I’m praying the cancer is still dying and that I am not.
By Dave Taylor
Dave, this completely encompasses who you are. You’re an interesting guy and everyone who reads this will know.
This is so so special Dave! I loved reading all these fun and interesting things about you! I pray also that you have many many more years! …and I know everyone does. God bless you!
Dave, I think this is a great summation. I always knew you to be full of life,. I so enjoyed our times together with Vdubs and going to the shows. I know you have many many more to attend! God bless you and keep you! Prayers for healing!