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Jumpstarting Your Own Legacy

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Product Description

Paul Mast, a priest for over fifty years in the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware, focuses not on how or when we will die but on how we can enhance our legacy by pondering this question: Knowing you will die, how then will you live the rest of your time on Earth? The tool he uses is teaching how to write a Living Obituary—something you start writing now, at whatever age, and update regularly. He points out, “While the subject of the book is about writing our own death notice, the focus is really about persuading us to engage with our death as part of viewing our entire life (that is, our legacy) as a work-in-progress.” Along the way—in stories and examples always touching and often funny about a very serious subject—the author gives a short history and many examples of obituaries, including how the practice started, continues to develop, and has become a way of making profit for the funeral industry, the media, and even professional “obit writers.”

Your Living Obituary (written in first person singular) can be used to identify or change the direction you choose for the rest of your life—your “life before death,” as the author puts it. The premise is that dying is part of living and that those of us who try to engage in that process fully should not abdicate to any other person the writing of the “first draft” of how we want to be remembered. Writing your own obit as a prelude to “jumpstarting your legacy” focuses not on a question—what comes after death—but on the period at the end of the sentence, “Let me tell you about my (mostly) well-lived life.”

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