MKE Week 18 – Obituaries and Me

Read More Posts by Deanna Pulido Baker 

Category:  Week Eighteen


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One of our assignments last week and this week is to read at least one obituary daily.

The local weekly paper for my small town had zero obituaries listed. Part of me was relieved nobody had died recently, but I was stuck in a conundrum. Do I buy the Times Colonist (which I can’t afford), look at obituaries online (which was forbidden), or see if the local library had the Times Colonist and possibly a subscription to a larger provincial or national paper? I chose the latter.

I went to the library and read several obituaries. One obituary was about a gentleman who worked in construction. He was also a pilot and got his pilot’s license when he was 16. He owned his own aircraft hangar and was part of the local flying club. He and his wife enjoyed traveling around the world.

My favourite obituary was about a gentleman who helped his parents with their Chinese grocery store. The family run store was important to the community. His dharma was service driven. He often hired and trained teenagers how to make deliveries and run a cash register.

He was an avid volunteer who was involved in community events. He also maintained the local Chinese Cemetery. He was given the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award for his volunteer work. He worked hard to keep the Chinese Cemetery open for future burials. With a surveyor’s help he located many grave sites he remembered from his childhood.

The provincial government recognized his effort and a map was created of the cemetery. His efforts to preserve his family’s history was showcased in New York City’s Museum of Chinese America. The exhibit included the Cumberland Chinese Cemetery on Vancouver Island, Canada.

Today, after I read an obituary I asked myself 3 questions:

1. What would that person give to change places with me and have just one more day?
2. Who can I let know how grateful I am for their presence today?
3. How will I behave today to finish the masterpiece of my life elegantly?

I imagined the first gentleman would give up his aircraft hangar so he could spend one more day with his family. I imagined the second gentleman would give up his Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award to spend one more day with his family.

After I read an obituary and answered the first question, I picked up my phone and messaged a friend or family member and let them know I’m grateful for their friendship and other attributes.

My answer to the last question is: I focus on being grateful, positive, happy, and practice Acts of Kindness.

When it’s my time to go, I hope my obituary will include “Deanna was happy. She had a laugh that made others happy and her presence lit up the room. She was creative, encouraged others, and liked helping others. She found silver linings on a daily basis and was an inspiration to others.”

Meet Deanna Pulido Baker

I’m a blue from the left coast, wet coast of British Columbia, Canada. My hobbies include collecting inspirational quotes, sending encouraging cards to people, crocheting, reading, writing, gardening, and cooking. I enjoy cultural community events, socializing with friends, and enjoying a home cooked meal with my husband.

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  • Thank you for sharing the obituaries. Including one for yourself was very creative and wonderful.

  • What a great post and a great obituary for yourself. You definitely light up my day every time I read your blogs.

  • Thanks for going to the library I would not have heard of their life story. Good to read that it also inspired you. Thanks again Deanna

  • Hi Deanna, Your post is inspiring and compassionate. You went the extra mile to find a newspaper to read the obituaries. And you are an encourager.

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