Every week for my counseling class, I have to post in the forum discussion. The topics are always related to the week’s materials. With old age for this week’s development period, I should have expected the forum topic. Today I wrote my own obituary. The thought is slightly morbid. As I began to write, I started noting some life long goals and things I want to experience in my next 60 years. I needed a married last name, so I naturally went with one of my best guy friends. I made sure to warn him before he sees it and wonders what am I thinking (no Justin I am not expecting a ring from you). One of the more meaningful parts of writing this, was getting to choose to die after my sister and parents. If I’m the writer of this story, that means I get to decide who dies when. I don’t think it is ever fair for parents to have to see their kids die, so naturally they preceded me in death. After reading this article, I knew if I got a say, that I wouldn’t want Robyn to experience the grief of losing a twin.
In the article, the author (a twin), describes losing his brother.
“I was ill prepared for his departure. It was not possible to be ready, based on one indisputable fact: Losing a twin is more traumatic than losing a parent or an ordinary sibling, sometimes even a spouse. It is like losing a part of yourself, a cleavage, an abrupt end to a unique intimacy. The bonding begins in the womb, surely, and builds for the rest of your lives.”
I may not want twins, but I value and love Robyn and my twin bond like nothing else.
My obituary isn’t as funny as some of the other posts, but represents me pretty well written by my 22 year old self.
Riley Ann Collard died on April 11, 2070 at the age of 80. She was born in Houston, TX on February 10,1990 to Pala Reid and Patrick Riley Hammond.
Riley graduated from Angleton High School at the top of her class. After graduation, she attended Texas A&M University and bled maroon. Being an Aggie became part of her being. She pursued her masters at Texas State University. Riley stuck with her dream of becoming a Child Life Specialist and loving kids. With her career in mind, she landed her dream job at Texas Children’s Hospital. Love and children came later in life for Riley. What she didn’t know as a teen, was that one of her best friends would become her husband. Justin Wayne Collard knew Riley inside and out. He was the best at making her laugh. They married in Angleton, TX on October 24, 2018.
Riley and Justin enjoyed a very active life traveling, exploring, and keeping connected with friends and family. After much struggle, God’s plan was not for them to have biological children. They went on to adopt two infants who’s birth moms were from the area. They both shared the same passion to be Christ-like and positively influence others. Riley was a long time member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church. She remained a Child Life Specialist and became a Play Therapist after doing the unthinkable and going back to school. After her two careers, she pursued her long-time hobby job dream with her twin sister. Together, Riley and Robyn, opened Paisley & Pomp, a quaint and charming bakery and shop. This was the perfect retirement, running the business, spending time with grandkids, and traveling with Justin. Even in old age, Riley enjoyed the occasional initiation of “Riley points” from Justin.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Pala Reid Hammond, Patrick and Angela Hammond, and her twin sister, Robyn Lee Hammond.
Riley is survived by husband, Justin Collard, daughter Elizabeth Ann Lowe and husband Brandon, son Conner Riley Collard and wife Hannah. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Addison, Blake, Kelly Mae, Tanner, and Tucker.
Riley died just like she wanted peacefully in her sleep at the age of 80. She always struggled with giving God all the control – looks like he met her where she was at for her death. She always said the body starts falling a part at 80 so that’s enough years to live. She was grateful to go after her twin so Robyn didn’t have to experience the loss of her other half.
Her heart for children, positivity, and big smile will be missed. Please come celebrate the joy she shared with others. Her funeral mass will be held on April 14, 2070 at St. Ann’s Cathedral in Houston with graveside services following at Angleton Cemetery. Any condolences should be made in her honor to your favorite charity.
What about you – have you ever written your own obituary or eulogy? Thought about want you want for your death and funeral?