Monday, April 11, 2016

Updated my Obituary! Have You Written Yours? #Aortic #Dissection

I updated my obituary this week.  Yes,  it seems mostly what is written here lately has been focused around disease, dying or death.  But I am trying to get all things in order so I can turn to the fun stuff on my bucket list.
Kevin Songer's Obituary
Blah!  Who wants to write their obituary?  And the process was actually quite depressing, especially as I was trying to get started.  But the obituary writing process got easier as I wrote and thought and thought and wrote.

In fact, at first I initially felt an overwhelming and revolting sense of 'why even do this?' sweep over me like one of those big, unexpected Flagler Beach waves that crashes over you, sloshing salty water up into your nose, eyes and down into everything else attached to or part of your body.

'Yuck! Ugh!'  My right knee started it's shaking up and down while I sat trying to paint words on the blank screen with the Apple keyboard. 'Where do I start?'

Thank goodness for Google.  Type in 'SAMPLE OBITUARY' and right away a number of free self-help sites come up on the screen.  Cutting and pasting was easy and there it was - my roadmap outline to my own personal obituary.  All I had to do was fill in the blanks.

The other day I posted a note about visioning our lives as a mural we are painting each day with our actions and deeds. I was hoping my life's mural would be filled with love and joy.  As I was writing the obituary I could see that the words being penned were actually a reflection of my life's mural, but created with a pallet of words instead of paints.

My first thought was to fill it up with all the details of my accomplishments, all this this and thats that no longer meant a whole lot.  Turned out all the theses and thats was way to boring.  So I deleted all the accomplishments and focused on family and friends.  The obit was looking better with the 'family and friends' approach, but with a 'his' and 'hers' Brady Bunch clan there were a lot of names and I did not even get to the grandchildren.

As I wrote I began to feel a big sense of relief, like finally coming up out of that salty wave and taking a deep breath of fresh air and feeling the warm sun across my skin.

And I was so proud of myself!  I had to tell everyone about what I'd done, including my mother and father and even asking my teen daughter, Jincy to read over it!

Does that should way too morbid?  Maybe so, but somebody has to write an obituary for us.  In my efforts to try and have everything organized before I go, the obituary was just another item I can check off of my 'to do list' so I can get to my bucket list's fun stuff.

Just like a will and a funeral plan, everyone should go ahead and take care of their own obituary.  It actually may help keep your children, or spouse, or whoever you leave behind from having to tell all those little white lies when they try to think of what to say about us.  Ha!

Minor edits have already crept in and I am sure that over time the text content will evolve and does my life.  And I certainly hope not to use it anytime soon!

But the words have kind of fashioned my time here on this planet with these people into a manageable mouthful of verbal art that hopefully reflects my life's mural, something tangible I can carry around with me like my name.  Something that can help guide the rest of my life maybe and give me cause to stop and consider how people will really remember me, something right out of my Facebook page - lol!

So here is my draft (Yes!  DRAFT - not to be used anytime soon I hope) obit.

Hope it inspires you to write one too. -


Kevin Shea Songer, (Age)
Kevin Shea Songer, (Age), died (Month and Year, 20xx), in his home in Fort Myers, Florida.
He was cremated. A service was held Friday at Lovers Key State Park in Lee County, Florida.
Kevin was born March 24, 1957, in Atlanta, GA., to Louis and Paula (Morrow) Songer.  He grew up in Hialeah, Florida, attending Meadowlane Elementary and Palm Springs Junior High in Hialeah.
He graduated from Leon High School, in Tallahassee in 1975 and Judy Marie Songer on April 5, 1995, in Crawfordville, Florida.
He held an undergraduate biology degree after attending Florida State University and David Lipscomb College and also a Juris Doctor of law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law.
Kevin experienced an unexpected aortic dissection in November 2011 and spent the rest of his life medically managing his descending dissection and related Marfan Syndrome challenges and participating in daily adventures outdoors despite his debilitating challenges.
He enjoyed art, illustrating Florida's wilderness, nature photography, Florida’s state parks, hiking and cycling with his wife and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
He actively blogged about green roofs and life with Marfan Syndrome.  His blogs are located at and
He leaves behind his wife, Judy Songer of Fort Myers; brother, Scott; sister Leisa of San Antonio. brother Brian of Indiana; children and step-children include; Jincy Songer and Ruairi Songer, Sesha Castagna, Kyndra Griffin, Melissa Cummings, Leslie Ferguson, Laura Griffin, Adam Griffin and numerous grandchildren, and many friends across the world who share a passion for green roofs and also those challenged with connective tissue disorders like Marfan Syndrome.
Kevin was preceded in death by, his sister Janna, a granddaughter, Heidi Ferguson; (and if any others).
XXXX Funeral Home ofFort Myers, Florida was in charge of arrangements.  Remembrances can be made to The Marfan Foundation,