For some years I have had an interest in obituaries. Yes, as you read this you probably think I have some sort of weird obsession with death. That's not true. I do have a different perspective to most people about death. I was for many years a nurse, so was familiar with that part of life for some people.
One of my yearly memories goes back to my late teens when I was a trainee nurse and I sat with an elderly lady who was looking back on her life as it was coming to an end. She told me quite a bit about her life. She was quite a character and caused us a lot of problems in the hospital. In those days there were no nursing homes or palliative care places, and she had "lived" in the hospital medical ward for some time. She'd had an interesting life. Rumour had it that she had been a prostitute and she may have been the lover of a famous person many years earlier. I don't know the truth of it - hence my lack of names here, but in any case, she was the first person that I spent time with talking about their life. I learned that folk on their death bed find it easier to talk about their life at this time. It somehow relaxed them.
There have been others. I have always regarded being at someone's death, is as honourable and exciting as being at a birth.
In a few months Tim Bullamore, one of the UK's top obituary writers will be visiting Brisbane - he's due to talk at the Brisbane Square Library on October 15th, and I plan to be there.
He says, obituaries are about life, not death.
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