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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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist and blogger from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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25 Comments

  • Not only does this challenge us to live a decent life, but it makes me thankful that my parents did just that. I miss them tremendously, which at times is difficult. But it is difficult because of the kind of people that they were, so I am okay dealing with that difficulty.

  • While I’d actually prefer people to celebrate my life at my passing, there’s nothing more sobering than to think about someone who utterly wasted their life.

  • Rodney, I think you will leave the world, and the people that matter to you (and to whom you matter), with a much different impression than poor, poor Dolores and her family. That is a devastating obituary and obviously part of someone’s journey to recovery: perhaps the best they can hope for is that her death will help them.

  • I think in some ways I’m relieved to read that.

    It’s hard for me to explain.

    Yes, it’s sad that she was not loved and not remembered in a positive way.

    But I think it’s better than people being abused and having to go to a funeral and hear how wonderful the dead person was.

    UNLESS….this Dolores person WAS good and just misunderstood. Maybe she was like Elphaba in Wicked.

    Maybe her son is the bad one.

    Who knows?

    So many questions.

    I guess we’ll never really know the truth.

  • I have performed a number of funerals…and to be frank, maybe if more people were honest like this, things might actually be better. One lady was despised by her family, and after hearing their stories, I understood why. Story after story, all with the same awful elements. Yet when it came to the funeral, everyone was so polite. Sometimes, politeness is actually lying, and denial.

    It is sad…but the truth, spoken in love, helps the real healing begin.

  • I thought it was remarkable that someone, for once, would tell the truth. I get really bored at funerals where you just know the people are lying through their teeth. If they lived a life that added no value to anyone but themselves, I think someone should speak up, and challenge those who are in attendance to do better.

  • the saddest thing that could happen is when at your death, no one will feel sad or lost. it is also sad if no one could possibly say one good word for you.

    dolores must have been a real pain for her family during her lifetime.

  • There are people in this world who are rotten. The daughter who wrote this is to be commended for her honesty where many others would say nothing, or speak platitudes.

    It is, indeed, sad that Dolores choose to live her live in such a way. It is only fitting that she be memorialized as she was. To have written otherwise it would be an insult to those who depart us having lived thoughtful and compassionate lives.

  • What a sad ending to a life. I do wonder if every member of her family felt the same way (snopes mentioned that one of her daughters ran this obit). How tragic it would be to live your life with not one significant contribution and no positive memory.

  • Wow. At least lets aim to not have such a piece written about us 🙂
    Makes one think hey!
    I would hope I meant something good to all my friends.

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  • I cannot image having only this to say about my mom when she passed. I wished they could have made up in the end.

  • Its so easy to criticize others and say what a sad life. the question you have to ask is this. Why? Something must have been sad or bad in her life to make her into the person she was. I am glad I don’t have to walk a mile in her shoes!

  • Most of my family is dead, but my very closest family members have refused to acknowledge my existence for years. I don’t know why. My mom and dad didn’t know why either. More distant family members do like me, I have at least a dozen very close friends, and i have hundreds of rather more run-of-the-mill ones. I can’t think of anyone who actively dislikes me save my sibling and her husband and his relatives–but guess who, as next of kin, would be writing MY obit?

    This Mrs. Aguilar may have been someone in my position. Or maybe she really was awful to her daughter and other family members. I can’t say. One thing I feel sure of: it is a coward who goes around making public defamation of the dead.

  • What’s sad is the appalling way that this woman treated her family!!
    She was an out and out, destructive narcissist who abused her children for YEARS behind closed doors,whilst hiding behind a mask of piety in public!
    Her children have been interviewed, and confirmed, she was a dreadful individual, who had no care or concern for her children, and it is a miracle they have survived.
    Not everyone turns into a saint just because they die.

  • This is what sometimes happens when a person abuses others.The truth finally comes out. They get publicly defamed. Unless a one has been abused by their own mother or father (or both parents in my case)… Non abused people simply cannot understand. Child abuse is a real thing. And some parents enjoy giving pain to their children, sometimes unspeakable abuses happen. The child is in an impossible situation, in their own home, for years. It affects them. My siblings and I may very well write similar obits for our parents. And the tombstones will tell the truth too I think. Because that is what they deserve.
    May the children of this despicable woman have now found healing and help and strength, and that this obituary helped them in some way.