My New Job as an Obituary Writer is the Opposite of Depressing

I am a few weeks in at my new job as the Obituary Writer for The Reading Eagle newspaper. I know, I know, the job sounds depressing. That was my first reaction as well and I initially wasn’t very excited about my first job post-graduation.

First of all: death. Everyone is uncomfortable talking about it, but my job is actually positive. I get to read about the most impressive accomplishments these men and women have achieved in their lives and all their great and great-great-grandchildren who love them.

My job title is also misleading because I don’t actually write the obituaries. Family members often write them and funeral directors e-mail them to me. I edit the obituaries for AP style rules and style rules that are particular to the newspaper. I am also a fact-checker in a sense. For example, I check that a World War II veteran was born within dates that makes serving in the war possible.

Obituary Writer is also an interesting position because although I work in the editorial department, I mainly work in the computer program AdBooker since obits are technically classified death obits.

Yes, my busy days at the paper rely on people dying, but I enjoy editing the obituaries. They make me wonder what I will accomplish in my life.

I never thought that I would be an Obituary Writer after college. I was hoping for a more exciting job title like Investigative Reporter or something where I could write more than I am now, but I am happy to have the opportunity to be working in the journalism industry. I applied to marketing positions and other jobs related to my communication major, but more than anything I wanted to end up at a newspaper or magazine, so I’m very thankful to be where I am.

One of my professors started out as an Obituary Writer and she has accomplished so much in her life as a journalist, author, and professor. So I know that this is only the first stepping-stone to my journalism career ahead of me.

I started at the bottom of journalism in high school and again in college and I know I can work my way back to the top to one day be an Editor-in-Chief again. But for now I’ll be working as hard as I can to shine as an Obituary Writer and welcome the next steps in my career that come my way.

Running Games

I fly over the asphalt.
My sneakers crunch
the stones.

IMG_2750 2

My friend Skye (right) and I (left) running a 5K this past fall. Photo courtesy of The Great Pumpkin Run

Stress leaves me
and I feel relaxed,
at peace.

But this is only the beginning.

In the middle
my pace slows.
I feel a side sticker forming
as my leg muscles burn.
And scream.

Doubts creep in,
but I push myself forward.
I reach the diamond street sign
indicating that I am almost home.

A new burst of energy fills my body
as I run fast and hard
for the finish.
I am panting,
out of breath.

Thirsty,
I lick my lips
salty from sweat.
Another run is done,
but I’ll be back for more
tomorrow.