"I hope she guides me to the best sales forever."
What makes a good obituary? First, it should probably reflect the essence of the recently deceased person in an authentic, honest light. Second, it should feel personal, showing how that person’s life affected the lives of others. Then, of course, the right dash of humor can certainly help spark joy in an otherwise solemn moment.
New York Times journalist Caity Weaver achieved all those things masterfully in a eulogy written for her mother—the coupon-clipping, chronically late, green-thumbed Dr. Maureen Brennan-Weaver.Caity clearly put her knack with words to good use, because her hilarious tribute quickly went viral on Twitter, leaving people not only with a good giggle, but a very precise picture of her mom.
Maureen was a mom and “rowdy aunt,” as well as a 6-foot-tall podiatrist and an “uncommonly caring” one at that.
According to Caity, Maureen “could not stop herself from buying shoes for patients if she spotted just what they needed while shopping … She categorically did not do house calls, except for patients she ‘really liked’; of these, there were so many she had to set aside whole days for house calls.” She even “occasionally accepted” baked goods as payment from her patients.
Maureen was as “pathologically generous” as she was frugal.
“When a young nephew wished for a plastic microscope, she found him a real one (at a great price) and painstakingly prepared hundreds of slides for his study.” She also “briefly employed a skilled housekeeper but found her a more lucrative job.” To this day, her family has access to a “huge box of toothbrushes” she purchased for pennies decades ago.
Truly nothing made Maureen more happy than “helping people, and anyone anywhere saving money,” Caity wrote.
In honor of her mother’s passion for gardening, Caity encouraged others to plant something in lieu of flowers, with a Maureen-worthy reminder that “garden centers mark perennials down to unbelievable prices in the fall.”
Incredibly smart, fearless and “riotously funny,” Maureen had a “cackle that crashed through rooms.” One that will clearly be missed. Her death might have been “shocking” as it was the first thing she was ever “ahead of schedule” on, but she leaves behind “enough toothbrushes and memories to last several lifetimes.”
Caity followed up the obituary with a few of her mom’s “greatest hits” previously tweeted:
I’m not going to repost all the tweets but you get the idea https://t.co/7JcEzHZMjA— Caity Weaver (@caityweaver) June 22, 2022
Oh this was a classic! https://t.co/NmjK4G44NV— Caity Weaver (@caityweaver) June 23, 2022
Caity’s touching and joyful memorial received tons of love from people, including fellow writers.
“I’m so so sorry that you’ve lost her. That obituary might be one of the most joyous things I’ve ever read, funny and tender and loving, what a brilliant person your mum was xx,” Jess McGuire commented
“I am so sorry for your loss. And for the whole world’s loss! Your mom sounds fabulous,” added Mindy Kaling.
You can read the obituary in its entirety below. Maureen, you are deeply loved by your “favorite child,” and now by all of us as well.
Got the worst news I’ve ever gotten last week. My mom and I made each other cry laughing all the time. I hate to think about all the deals she’s going to miss out on. I hope she guides me to the best sales forever. pic.twitter.com/dZoWdIu86C— Caity Weaver (@caityweaver) June 22, 2022