The sad life and death of Dolores Aguilar

coffin.jpgWhat do you hope people will say about you when you die? Does it really matter to you?

Sometimes I wonder who’ll turn up at my funeral when my life here is over. Will those who do show up have good things to say or will their silence tell a different story?

I will have no chance to control what’s said when the time comes but I can do something about it while I’m still here by the way I choose to live my life.

Will I leave friends and family with good memories? I guess that’s up to me and the choices I make every day of my life.

I wonder about what kind of difference I’m making to the wider world. Will I be missed by more than those close to me? Will there be those I’ve never met who will be thankful that I was once alive? Am I making a difference through my work and through the the volunteer tasks I undertake?

I was saddened to read the following obituary for a lady who died earlier this month.

Dolores Aguilar
1929 – Aug. 7, 2008
Dolores Aguilar, born in 1929 in New Mexico, left us on August 7, 2008. She will be met in the afterlife by her husband, Raymond, her son, Paul Jr., and daughter, Ruby.

She is survived by her daughters Marietta, Mitzi, Stella, Beatrice, Virginia and Ramona, and son Billy; grandchildren, Donnelle, Joe, Mitzie, Maria, Mario, Marty, Tynette, Tania, Leta, Alexandria, Tommy, Billy, Mathew, Raymond, Kenny, Javier, Lisa, Ashlie and Michael; great-grandchildren, Brendan, Joseph, Karissa, Jacob, Delaney, Shawn, Cienna, Bailey, Christian, Andre Jr., Andrea, Keith, Saeed, Nujaymah, Salma, Merissa, Emily, Jayci, Isabella, Samantha and Emily. I apologize if I missed anyone.

Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting over her passing.

Her family will remember Dolores and amongst ourselves we will remember her in our own way, which were mostly sad and troubling times throughout the years. We may have some fond memories of her and perhaps we will think of those times too. But I truly believe at the end of the day ALL of us will really only miss what we never had, a good and kind mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I hope she is finally at peace with herself. As for the rest of us left behind, I hope this is the beginning of a time of healing and learning to be a family again.

There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart. We cannot come together in the end to see to it that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren can say their goodbyes. So I say here for all of us, GOOD BYE, MOM.

It’s hard to imagine that anyone would write such an obituary but they did. I checked this one out on Snopes just to make sure it wasn’t a hoax.

How devestating to think that this woman could have made such an impression on the world she left behind. How sad that no one thought enough of her to even arrange a service to farewell her.

When they finally shut the lid on the box and send me on my way, I hope that someone will shed a tear. How do you hope to be remembered?



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Oprah’s Sprirituality

tv.jpgI must admit that I haven’t seen a lot of Oprah over the years but what I have seen just serves to confirm that she’s the ultimate television professional.

Her programme, The Oprah Winfrey Show, has earned a number of Emmy Awards and is the highest rating talk show in the history of television.

According to Wikipedia, she has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the most philanthropic African American of all time, and the world’s only black billionaire for three straight years. That’s an amazing achievement for someone who has battled the odds to be where she is today.

Born in rural Mississippi to a poor unwed teenaged mother, and later raised in an inner city Milwaukee neighbourhood, Winfrey was raped at the age of nine, and at fourteen, gave birth to a son who died in infancy. Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime talk show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place, she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated. – Wikipedia

More and more these days Oprah’s programme has focused on spiritual themes that have found a very welcome audience amongst her millions of fans. Many say she is the most influential woman in the world, so when Oprah endorses something, millions around the world not only listen, they act on what they hear.

My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and current President of the Baptist Union of Australia. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.

This week we looked at the kind of spirituality that Oprah endorses and the latest author to have received a massive career boost via Oprah’s television show, Eckhart Tolle. Tolle’s brand of new age spirituality has been embraced by millions since attaining Oprah’s endorsement.

Oprah rejects any idea of there being one pathway to God as being unthinkable. She seems to be on a spiritual search, earnestly seeking answers and taking her vast international audience on the journey with her.

If you’d like to hear what Ross had to say about Oprah and her thoughts on spirituality, just click play on the audio player at the bottom of this post.



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