Nobody likes to think about death and dying, but at some time or another we've all probably wondered what people would say about us at our funeral or write about us in our obituary. When Mary Patricia "Pat" Stocks from Toronto, Canada knew the end was near, she too started thinking about these things and knew exactly what she didn't want: a dreary, depressing obituary or a sad and somber funeral. And when she passed away recently at the age of 94, her son kept this wish in mind when he came up with some very choice words to pay his last respects to his mother.
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Mary's children describe her as "wonderfully dysfunctional" and it came as no surprise to them that she didn't want a traditional obituary. So when her son Sandy presented his first draft of the obituary to the rest of the family, they were nearly rolling on the floor with laughter — and that meant it was perfect! Here is an excerpt of the version published in the Toronto Star newspaper:
"…She left behind a hell of a lot of stuff to her daughter and sons who have no idea what to do with it. So if you’re looking for 2 extremely large TV’s from the 90s, a large ceramic stork (we think) umbrella/cane stand, a toaster oven (slightly used) or even a 2001 Oldsmobile with a spoiler (she loved putting the pedal to the metal), with only 71,000 kilometers and 1,000 tools that we aren’t sure what they’re used for. You should wait the appropriate amount of time and get in touch.
Tomorrow would be fine.
This is not an ad for a pawn shop, but an obituary for a great Woman, Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother born on May 12, 1921 in Toronto… She leaves behind a very dysfunctional family that she was very proud of. Pat was world-renowned for her lack of patience, not holding back her opinion and a knack for telling it like it is. She always told you the truth even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. It was the school of hard knocks and yes we were told many times how she had to walk for miles in a blizzard to get to school, so suck it up.

With that said she was genuine to a fault, a pussy cat at heart (or lion) and yet she sugar coated nothing. Her extensive vocabulary was more than highly proficient at knowing more curse words than most people learned in a lifetime. She liked four letter words as much as she loved her rock garden and trust us she LOVED to weed that garden with us as her helpers, when child labour was legal or so we were told.
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These words of encouragement, wisdom, and sometimes comfort, kept us in line, taught us the 'school of hard knocks' and gave us something to pass down to our children. Everyone always knew where you stood with her. She liked you or she didn’t, it was black or white. As her children we are still trying to figure out which one it was for us (we know she loved us).
She was a master cook in the kitchen. She believed in overcooking everything until it chewed like rubber so you would never get sick because all germs would be nuked. Freezing germs also worked, so by Friday our school sandwiches were hard and chewy, but totally germ free. All four of us learned to use a napkin. You would pretend to cough, spit the food into it and thus was born the Stocks diet. If anyone would like a copy of her homemade gravy, we would suggest you don’t.
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She will be sorely missed and survived by her [family]… All whom loved her dearly and will never forget her tenacity, wit, charm, grace (when pertinent) and undying love and caring for them.
A private family ‘Celebration of Life’ will be held, in lieu of a service, due to her friends not being able to attend, because they decided to beat her to the Pearly Gates.
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Please note her change of address to her new place of residence, St John’s York Mills Anglican Church, 19 Don Ridge Drive, 12 doors away from Shelley’s place.”
If you want to find out more about the author of this very unique obituary, you can watch this interview with Mary's son Sandy:
It's not your average obituary, but judging by how her son describes her, it's probably just what Mary would have wanted. And it's also a very fitting end to a life full of vigor and humor.

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