Jul 19, 2023
I’ve been publishing obituaries for almost 25 years, and I’ve always remarked that you can tell how loved someone was by their obituary. I’ve seen some incredible ones in that time and Rick’s, in particular, was awe inspiring.
Last week there was an obituary from Rick Breckenridge. I’ve been publishing obituaries for almost 25 years, and I’ve always remarked that you can tell how loved someone was by their obituary.
I’ve seen some incredible ones in that time and Rick’s, in particular, was awe inspiring. He wrote his own obituary. It was full of humour, his life, his absolute love for family, and his lifelong love/hate relationship with golf.
After reading that obituary I wish I had known Rick. From the testament of his life, it sounded incredible. He really did it well. How many of us at the end of our lives will have that wonderful life and love and the ability to put it into words. My heart hurts for his family left behind.
I often tell people that when you die, no one cares about the house you had, the cars you drove. They will remember the memories you made and the love you created. After losing so many of my people in such a short time, I learned this lesson early. I was 42 when my dad died and 43 when my mom and Buddy died. I lost a lot in a short period of time. It’s only now that I can celebrate the lives they had, instead of dwelling on the pain I felt.
When I was diagnosed with cancer last year, I made a bucket list of things I always talked about doing, but never seemed to have to the time to do. So far, I’m checking them off one by one.
I’m continuing my goal of summiting mountains and I’m currently at 35, with at least five of those more than once.
This year I went on a balloon ride and I tandem sky dived.
Next, I want to dive with Great White Sharks, go on a safari and walk the Great Wall of China.
I will get them all done and my guess is within the next few years.
I’ve been to Italy, England, and Japan, and I recently added the Greek Islands, Turkey and Spain.
I want to hike both the west and east coast trails and this weekend I’m going to climb the Bridge of the Mastodon.
I want to re-read the classics in literature, and I want to be the best kick ass grandma around. No rush on that one, but someday ....
I want to die penniless, except for helping the boys get their first house. I want to die with experiences and memories and not things.
Lastly, I also want to write my own obituary. Rick’s obituary left an indelible mark on me and helped me remember what’s important in life.
I’m so lucky to have some incredible friends, some incredible co-workers here and on Council and I’ve been lucky enough to be blessed with the best children and nephews and nieces on the planet.
So, thank you Rick Breckenridge for reminding me what’s important in life and to not take anything for granted. You think cancer would have taught me that lesson, but like most things we tend to forget the important stuff as life runs forward.
So, I challenge you to make your bucket list and go for it. Make it meaningful to you and no one else and go for it. I sure am!