I have a friend who reads the obituaries every morning, and if his name isn’t in there, he gets dressed.
I also read the obits every day out of curiosity.
With tongue in cheek, I present my future obituary.
William Hamilton Aulenbach, Jr.: October 28, 1932–February 29, 2042
Bil died surrounded by no one while skiing alone. Some out-of-control snowboarder creamed him. He died on the spot. He’ll not be returning to the Lord because he has no idea who the Lord is or where he lives. He’ll not be resting in the arms of Jesus because last he heard, Jesus was cremated in the city dump of Jerusalem after he was crucified as a criminal.
Billie (his childhood nickname) was born filthy rich in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, but moved to a poor neighborhood in Philadelphia at age four.
He went to a private Episcopal school, which he despised. Then he went to an Episcopal college in Ohio, where he majored in soccer, lacrosse, and partying.
In 1953, Butch (his college nickname) joined the US Marine Corps Officer Candidates School, just in time for the Korean War. When the North Koreans found out that Butch had joined the Marines, they demanded an armistice because they did not want to face his pain-inflicting lacrosse stick.
After three years in the Marines, Captain Aulenbach decided that the military was not for him. So he went to seminary in wild Berkley. There he learned how to love people Monday through Friday, but as a weekend warrior, he learned how to kill them.
After Father Bil was ordained, he moved to Hawai’i as a missionary. (Everyone laughed at the notion of a missionary in Hawai’i.) There he met his beautiful wife, Anne, who spent much of the rest of her life answering the question “Why did you marry him?”
Bil and Annie had three daughters, four grandchildren, and a bunch of great- and great-great-grandchildren who couldn’t wait for Papa to die—at 110 years old.
Father Bil was successful at working for the church even though he was fired twice—once for being against war and the second time by a loser priest. (Go figure.)
The family moved to southern California in 1975, but Bil couldn’t get a church job because he supported the ordination of women, gays, and lesbians. He also advocated remarrying divorced people, changing the ancient Book of Common Prayer, and updating Christianity for the twenty-first century.
Those ideas went over like a pork chop in Israel, so Bil started his own company and, for the first time in his life, made enough money that the family didn’t have to eat mac and cheese for the last five days of the month.
Bil and Annie were best friends, so together, they traveled, skied, went to the gym, enjoyed wines (none over ten dollars a bottle), made love, and laughed a lot—especially when they couldn’t remember things.
They both gave their dead bodies to Anatomy Gifts Registry for medical research. Bil always said, “Having my skeleton hanging in a medical school for the next five hundred years will be the closest I ever get to immortality.”
Bil’s fun celebration of life service will be held at Irvine United Congregational Church. All people, including the poor and the homeless, are invited to the luau afterward.
All are also invited to the dress rehearsal for his service at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, April 1, 2019. Bil wants to make sure the eulogists say the right things and the poi is fresh.
Have you written your obituary yet?
Image courtesy of Elliott Brown (CC BY-ND 2.0)