“Beautiful day, happy to have been here,” Jane Catherine Lotter wrote in her obit. She died July 18, 2013.
Need to cry and remember how good life is?
Then you have to read the obit of Seattle writer Jane Lotter, who died last month of cancer at age 60. A longtime humor writer, Lotter penned the obit herself, a tribute to life and love since retweeted many times and featured in The New York Times.
It begins like this:
“One of the few advantages of dying from Grade 3, Stage IIIC endometrial cancer, recurrent and metastasized to the liver and abdomen, is that you have time to write your own obituary. (The other advantages are no longer bothering with sunscreen and no longer worrying about your cholesterol.)”
Lotter took advantage of Washington’s Death with Dignity Act, dying at home with husband Bob Marts, and children, Tessa, 23, and Riley, 19, at her side. Her last words, published in The Seattle Times, took readers on her life’s journey, described with gratitude and wit.
“I would demonstrate my keen sense of humor by telling a few jokes here, but the Times charges for these listings by the column inch and we must move on,” she wrote.
To kids Tessa and Riley, she wrote, “I love you so much, and I’m so proud of you. I wish you such good things. May you, every day, connect with the brilliancy of your own spirit. And may you always remember that obstacles in the path are not obstacles, they ARE the path.’
To husband Bob, whom she met at the Central Tavern in 1975, she wrote her final valentine: “I love you up to the sky.”
Go get some tissues now, for this is how her obit ends:
I was given the gift of life, and now I have to give it back. This is hard. But I was a lucky woman, who led a lucky existence, and for this I am grateful. … I am at peace. And on that upbeat note, I take my mortal leave of this rollicking, revolving world-this sun, that moon, that walk around Green Lake, that stroll through the Pike Place Market, the memory of a child’s hand in mine.
My beloved Bob, Tessa, and Riley. My beloved friends and family. How precious you all have been to me. Knowing and loving each one of you was the success story of my life. Metaphorically speaking, we will meet again, joyfully, on the other side.
Beautiful day, happy to have been here.
COMMENTARY by indie author Kathleen K.
Peace be with you, Jane Catherine Lotter. We never met but I salute your presence in the words you arranged for us to read, and in the energy you stirred up as you passed.
You know all the answers now.