Mary Patricia Stocks, or “Pat” as she was known to her family, passed away peacefully in July. The Toronto woman was 94 years old and left behind a big family, and a huge mess.
In the funniest and most lovingly honest obituary we have read in a long time, her children describe a wonderfully dysfunctional mother who will sound more familiar to us than perhaps we’d like to admit.
In a memorial that would probably be as at home in the funny pages as the obituaries section of the paper, her family shared some of the embarrassing, yet endearing things that made her so special.
It reads in part: “….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.”
And continues with such fond recollections of the dinner table as, “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. “
And as far as the words of encouragement and inspiration that all mothers are known to dole out, “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…”
Of course, the obituary also shares the fondest moments and expresses a genuine love for her by a family that seems to have turned out just fine, if just a little too willing to “go there.” They probably learned that trait from Pat.
The skewed but loving tribute closes with a list of family members that preceded her in death, including her husband, eldest daughter, and at least three pets, all named “Tag.” It finally ends with the best closing in the annals of obit history, ”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.”
This is one of the best obituaries we have ever read. How about you? Will you leave writing your obituary up to your family, or will you handle it yourself to ensure they get the story right? Let us know what you think.