In Loving Memory

Have you ever written your own obituary?  Before I respond to the WordPress prompt to write one, I pose an exercise for you: Think about this as your last day on earth. What would you do? How would you be with yourself and your loved ones? Would this be the best or worst day of your life? I’ve thought about this often, especially after hearing of sudden or shocking deaths, including suicides. I’d like my obituary to contain irony, black humor, and some wisdom I was never able to fully impart. A good obituary should be unpredictable and surprising, too. Here goes:

Here lies Sheila (Kaufman) Lewis, whose life was a work of art and transformation. While family traditions and roots were sacred to her, she could not abide -isms or dogma in her teaching and creative work. (With apologies to the living) Sheila wished she had started and finished things better, published and travelled more, been more attentive to finances, friends, husband, sons, and grandson, and learned to drive. But she was proud to have figured out how not to worry so much. She knew that the worst that could happen, probably already had.





About sheilaklewis

As a writing coach, meditation teacher, writer, and academic tutor, I'm passionate about words and the silent spaces between words. In this context, I run book clubs and writers' groups where the resonance of carefully crafted words can spark readers and writers to share their own stories. Connecting through conversation; making memories matter; embracing editing and revision, and imaginative wordplay are some solo and collective outcomes. I came to what I call my "Meditate Write Now" practice after years of art-making, writing grants, curriculum, children's stories, and more. Meditation kept my mind from meandering too far off point and also led me to write from the still point within. May our paths cross in creative journeys across time and internet connections! Other details: My husband and I are the parents of two amazing sons and one daughter-in-law, and smitten grandparents of Micah (born December, 2013). I don't drive, and have lived in the same apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, for too long.
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14 Responses to In Loving Memory

  1. reikiforlife says:

    i could add more. Sheila was [is!] an incredibly loyal friend, a fountain of positive energy, walking through obstacles with verve, a master of multi-tasking, blending the spiritual and the practical in a succulent mix that extends to all who know her.

  2. Susan Greenfield says:

    Pithy, witty, and poignant. In short, I love it.

  3. Lia says:

    Here lies Lia Brigante, committed progressive, who helped hundreds of people during her career as a social worker, and the hundreds who were affiliated with them; and the hundreds who were affiliated with them. She thought she had an endless amount to give without replenishment, which is why she lies here today quiet. Oh – and she made many people very happy – the slut.

    • sheilaklewis says:

      Hi, obit’s eloquent, ironic, and funny. Lia was also known for her keen observations as a communicator, writer, and adventurer in life–all things that might have gotten her in an occasional jam, but that she got herself out of with grit and a grin, and the determination to go on.

  4. Kathleen Ellis says:

    I agree with all the additions to your obit Sheila, and want to add that you’re a fabulous writer. When I explain to people what my definition of a “writer” is, I always use you as an example–someone who very simply has to write, no matter what else is happening.

    • sheilaklewis says:

      That is always good to hear. I just read about a writer who had OCD and started a successful writing salon, now wouldn’t that be cool? (not the OCD part). I think I also write because I like doing it more than so many other things. Your words mean a lot! Happy wordsmithing yourself.

  5. awaisirshad says:

    Have to say it had been super cool being at ALA whereas all of this was occurring. The Caldecott committee did a good job choosing this year’s books. i’d like to be a wing the wall throughout their conferences. (I additionally should admit that i’d like to have a sticker on one among my books. . . a lady will dream . . 🙂

  6. NubbyP says:

    I was taking a course called “Leading My Life” – essentially about how to live from your being. The teacher mentioned how good it is to spend time with people whose way of living we admire and who seem to really live a thoughtful life from their inner core. It made me think of you Sheila and how I like to be around you and get so much out of it. That’s my personal addition to your obituary (which gladly it is not yet time to write!)

  7. sheilaklewis says:

    thanks, Alex, I feel the same way. I feel sorry for people whose main “socializing” and edification consists of facetime with strangers. We will keep at it.

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