Nora Ephron died, on June 26, 2012, at the age of 71. We may find out any minute that she left one last book of essays or one last screenplay. If it’s possible to add humor to illness and death, she’s the artist who would have accomplished it. I feel like she still had something to say.
As I read through her list of accomplishments I can’t help but imagine how my obituary might read if I died today.
Jen started a novel, a teleplay and a stage play. She wanted to write a screenplay with her husband. Her computer was filled with roughed out ideas, and a file full of miscellaneous pieces of papers had character sketches on them. She started a blog with good intentions. Jen never finished what she started. The carpeting she ripped from the stairs was never replaced. Her bedroom was found to be painted in small blocks of color. Apparently she never decided on one.
It’s not that she didn’t live; she loved life. She traveled all over the United States with her best friend, who by sheer gift from God, was also her husband. She loved people and her family so very much. Some of the love was not returned, but most was. She was happy. She had a bent toward sloth and procrastination. She didn’t die with regret, not really. She had it all, almost, but didn’t do everything God put her here to do.
It’s a bittersweet obit. I want to say I’ll change. I want to say the time is now, but I’ve said it more than once for many years and for some reason it never sticks. I believe this. At 50 it occurs to me that my time on earth is limited. My mom died young. Nora Ephron has died young. I plan to die old, but at best, my life is half over and it went fast. May my epitaph, read, she finally got it at 50, worked her ass off, and left this world with nothing left to say.