Of course, deaths of hard living young celebrities are fairly common. Two young actors, Heath Ledger and Brad Renfro, have died of drug overdoses in recent weeks.
Harrop suggests that the preparation of Britney’s obituary may be good for her. It may help her mend her ways.
Harrop points to companies in South Korea which sell mock funerals for college students: ”The young people write their wills, put on the traditional Korean burial clothes and have themselves nailed into a coffin---temporarily, of course,. The point is to have them imagine their death, and in so doing, reorder their priorities.”
Advance obituaries have had notable effects in the past. In 1888, Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, was profoundly influenced by an obituary which erroneously announced his death. The obituary stated, "The merchant of death is dead" and went on to say, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday."
This influenced him to leave a better legacy after his death. He set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes, to be awarded annually without distinction of nationality. Among these is the Nobel Peace Prize.
Jesus used the same tactic in telling the story of the rich man whom he called a fool because he built up riches on earth without ever thinking of when his soul would be required of him.
How is your obituary going to read?
©2008 C. David Hess