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What will you leave behind? (I)
( Lessons from an obituary )
Jun 1997 Alan S.L. Wong
In Memoriam

For ____________________

with no grandchildren
died of a trauma
and not in an accident

"Liar Evil Stray"

Your widow and only son

Lessons from an obituary

The above is an actual memorial (name omitted; photograph substituted) published in the Straits Times. You can feel the hurt and hatred emerging from it. One can only guess what had happened.

Here the widow and only son seemed to want to correct the view that the deceased was a nice guy and had led a blessed life.

  • An abundance of children and grandchildren is considered a blessing. But the memorial states that the deceased died with no grandchildren ... hinting that he was not blessed??

  • Normally when a person died in an accident we would say that it is such a tragic waste. But the memorial states that the deceased died of a trauma ... hinting that he deserved it??

  • We will not know what the deceased had done to call for the descriptive words "liar, evil and stray."

  • The closing is a contrast between the dead and the living. It seemed to say that contrary to the deceased's evil attempts to destroy them, they (wife and son) are well and fine while he is dead.
While we may not agree with the action of the widow and son to publish such a hate memorial for the public eyes, we can learn from the legacy that the deceased had left behind.

What would our family (not our friends) think and say about us when we are gone from this earth? How would they remember us ... with fond memories or with great distaste? What will you leave behind?