I understand why you may think that what I do is depressing, but compared to front-page news, most obituaries are downright inspirational. People lead all kinds of interesting and fulfilling lives, but they all end. My task is investigating the deeds, characteristics, occupations, and commitments, all that he or she made of their "one wild and precious life," as poet Mary Oliver has called it.
Warm personal stories and thoughtfully distilled truths shine brightly forth from Heather Lende's charming guide to a fulfilling life. Lende, a gentle-spirited and good-humored obituary writer in small-town Alaska, engagingly advocates for "finding the good" in the people and situations in your everyday life. Wise and quirky chapters such as "Pretty Good Is Better Than Perfect," "Stop and Smell the Fish," and "Listen to Your Mother" offer profound perspective with a big smile and plenty of heart. (CH)