The Obituary: A Short Story By Janet Chancellor

The local newspaper had only one obituary in it this week.   I circled the topics to give myself a guideline; “Dates of Birth and Death,” then “Family” -- categorized as “preceded in death” and “surviving her” (clearly this was all about me).   Other topics were “Career, Marriage, Retirement” and so forth. Our local Writer’s Group had been given the assignment to write our own obituary.  I thought it ironic that I would be presenting my story just three days before my scheduled Open Heart Surgery. So I began…

Janet Gail Chancellor (Violet)

(May 13,1947 - )

This part was easy except that I knew that I had been created, rather than born, and that 5/13 only marked the date I had chosen to loop back through this dimension of chaos and confusion.  I left open the date indicating when I would drop my body because I didn’t want to jinx myself.  

The “Family” part was also easy, but long – my daughter, seven siblings, my husband.  I thought this part might confuse most people because my father and my husband both share the same first and last names—but that’s another story.  

After finishing the easy parts, I skipped down to “Career.”  Now I had to think and worse than that, to remember.  At least I only had to remember the good parts.  Nobody ever talks about getting fired.  

My first draft sounded like a salute to the ego.  

As I wrote, it became apparent that my “life events” had somehow been attached to a pendulum where they could swing back and forth, and back and forth, between “good” and “bad” – suggesting that I didn’t know the difference between the two.  I could see where open doors had led to closed ones, which had led to open ones.  And I noticed, from this prospective of finality that all the doors had ended in “good.”  

I discovered that a person’s life in this dimension is made up of a series of voluntary and involuntary choices—except that there are no involuntary choices because what appears to be involuntary (like a complicated heart defect) is voluntary at some level. 

On to the next topic—“Marriage”

First comes love, then come marriage, then comes love/hate, then comes divorce.  I had two marriages that ended in divorce.  This is where facts get drowned in fiction.  

And then there is the happy ending: Polaris, my love – whose goodness and love inspire me daily.  I woke up this morning to his mid-night Love Thoughts left propped up on my computer.

Perhaps more important than the “history” of our “life events” are the lessons we learn along the way.  Maybe that’s the value of exploring them by writing one’s own obituary.  

This much I know is true:

ï My Reality, my Higher Self, is only Spirit  

ï I am still as God created me – innocent and perfect  

ï My true life has continued without interruption, and has been and always will be totally unaffected by my seeming life in this dream.  

“Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.”     

A Course in Miracles

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