from me:

Kris sent me this: “Write your own obituary. 2 versions. A booze related life/death and a recovered life/death. I think this could be a great tool.”

So here are my versions:

Obituary #1 Drinking
Belle died at age 68 at home under suspicious circumstances. Her body was found a few days after she died. No signs of foul play, but things weren’t quite right. Her career took a bit of a nose dive when she relapsed at age 48. She never really found out what her passions were. She never made the perfect doughnut. She is survived by her ex-husband. No children, no immediate family living nearby. Wolfie likes to keep drinkers on their own, without connections, isolated. A life cut short. It’s not just that she didn’t ‘live up to her potential’ … it’s that she didn’t even try.

Obituary #2 Sober
Belle died at home with her (lovely and younger) husband at her side. She was 92. Sober since age 46, she did a lot of things that other people think they’d like to do, but never try. She started a catering company in a new country, and turned that into a bakery empire — bringing homemade doughnuts and bagels to the world. She was invited to be on the Oprah show when she discovered the perfect lemon doughnut. Her bakery/cafe franchise serves the ONLY Turkey sandwich with cranberries on sourdough bread in France.
She communicated with 10,000+ sober people over the years, had sober breakfast meetup events across the US, Canada, Europe (and Australia!). She wrote 3 books, recorded 1000 podcasts, and slept at least 8 hrs a night. When asked what the secret to life was, she said: “just start. go slowly. but start.”


and you? send me yours and I’ll share some in an upcoming micro-email.


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • OBIT 1
    She died as she lived, drunk. As her family we don’t want to sugarcoat the circumstances and we hope someone out there can grow and learn from her problem. She tried many times to stop drinking but, alcohol always called her back and she went…over and over again she was quitting….and then one day at age 43 her body quit on her as she blacked out behind the wheel of her car. She leaves behind 3 motherless children, 1 dog and 2 elderly parents and one broken husband. She could have asked for help but she didn’t want anyone to know.

    OBIT 2

    She died as she lived– peacefully and in the arms of her beloved husband with her 3 strong grown children and their families by her side. She was 85. She overcame alcohol with grace, determination and treats! And went on to dedicate her life to helping anyone that needed help with addiction because, she knew what it was like to be alone in the fight. Thankfully due to the overwhelming support she found with her sober coach and online community, she discovered she was not alone and was able to live a long full life.

    That’s what I would like or something similar. 🙂

  • This brought me to tears..I haven’t found the courage or strength yet to do past day one but I really really want/ need to.x

  • Obit #1: At age 48, Jane died suddenly from a head injury caused by a fall. She had spent 7 hours in a pub, and walked out to have a cigarette. She leaves a very sad husband and dog behind.

    Obit #2: Jane died peacefully in her bed by the Pacific Coast in Mexico at age 95. She was the author of 5 books, and had fulfilled her dream of opening schools for disadvantaged children through Latin America. She leaves behind her 89 year old husband and a family of her own making.

  • Love this post. I don’t know how many times I thought about this. Who would find me dead and what would my family think. What would my death look like to my daughter? She never knew I had a drinking problem. My Grandson? What–Nenah died drunk–what??

  • Interesting perspective. I am working hard at having a sober obituary. Sober since April 2/15. I just keep on keeping on.

  • Jen43 writes:

    My boozy one would read:
    Jen43 died aged 49 surrounded by her husband, daughters and son, having bravely fought against the head and neck cancer that ravaged her body for 7 long years. Despite repeated attempts at conquering her alcohol and sugar addiction she never saw the light and died thinking what if I’d stopped drinking after my diagnosis and treatment. She’d so much more to give.

    My sober one
    Jen43 died aged 85 surrounded my her adoring husband, children and many grandchildren. She lived life to the full and taught in her beloved primary school till she was 65 and volunteered in the ICT department until her 75th party. Rachel was an enthusiastic yogi and marathon runner until her 78th year when she decided walking was the way to go! She died peacefully at home after falling ill with a sore throat two days earlier.

  • Cool

    Obit #1 (drinking)
    She died alone in her home at the age of 70. Death is thought due to a fall down the stairs. Neighbors had reported seeing her seem to be unsteady on her feet lately. Although she had had many friends and had had a social life, things seemed to go wrong for her about 6 yrs. ago when she relapsed. She tended to keep to herself and the only person who seemed to know anything about her was the owner of the local liquor store who said she was a wonderful customer who made boeuf bourguignon for charity, as she was always in the store buying the red wine she needed. She is survived by: her children, grandchildren, and one total bastard of a husband. The children and grandchildren have missed her for years already. The husband missed her too, but kept shooting.

    Obit #2
    She died at age 100 yrs., as she lived, happy and surrounded by friends and family who miss her. She is preceded by 3 husbands whom she claimed were “mostly wonderful men” although she did admit that her memory wasn’t as good as it used to be so there may have been a rotten apple in the barrel somewhere. She returned to learning after her retirement but found it hard until around her 63rd birthday when life seemed to turn around for her. At that time she found more time for friends and hobbies. She finished learning French and then went on to learn Spanish as she and her partner spent winters in Southern US and Mexico. She had always wanted to play the piano again, as she had as a child, and this she took up on her 70th birthday after requesting a keyboard from her family.
    When asked about the secret to a long and happy life, she just smiled and replied “remember to love, especially yourself, and keep the wolf from the door … and that’s Cool”

  • Gobsmacked Obits

    Obit One: Drinking

    Gobsmacked died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 54. She was in the middle of performing in a show, when she appeared to have forgotten her lines. The audience laughed nervously, then gasped when she collapsed on stage. She was DOA when she arrived at the hospital where she was born.

    Although there was a history of heart disease and alcoholism in her family, her brother said sadly that it was not a predetermined fact that she would have died early. “Our own father overcame his family history, survived two heart attacks, and is still going strong now in his 80’s. It didn’t have to be this way. She could have reached out for help.”

    She is survived by her parents, brothers, one hilarious aunt, four beloved nieces and nephews, and her ex-husband. Her friends were shocked at her sudden demise, saying they had no idea she had a drinking problem. “She always worked so hard and produced so much work, and seemed cheerful enough,” said one close friend. “I guess she was a functional alcoholic.”

    She leaves behind two unfinished children’s books, a studio full of puppets, three pairs of stilts, and an unfulfilled wish to travel to Indonesia and Ireland.”

    Obit Two: Sober

    After a life time of entertaining adults and children alike with her whimsical puppet shows and children’s books, Gobsmacked went to her reward at the age of 85. She died peacefully on a bright October day, sitting on her front porch with second husband of 35+ years at her side.

    She is survived by many friends, family, and neighbors, who remember her not only as beloved entertainer and author, but as a kind human being who served her community. “She was always there with a casserole, or a joke, or flowers. She donated her time and energy to causes that served children and senior citizens. She had a series of therapy dogs that she trained and took to nursing homes. Most importantly, she listened when others came to her with their troubles, their hopes, and their ideas.”

    Her best-selling series of children’s books may be her most lasting legacy. But she will also be remembered for her quirky little studio where she lived and worked. “There was always something going on there,” said a friend. “A house concert, a puppet show cabaret, a Hitchcock film. She will be sorely missed.”

    Her husband says that some of their fondest memories were of the trips they took together. “We went to Indonesia to see shadow puppet performances and meet an elephant orchestra, ” he said. “We walked across Ireland. We spent many happy hours at her family’s lake cabin. She loved to kayak up there.”

    A celebration of her life will take place in ______park, where she performed in community puppet pageants for many years. There will be a stilt walking procession, large puppets, and a brass band.

  • I am ready i have been lying to myself and everone else i have been avoiding posting, i just read and wish it was me 1 3 5 10 30 76 days sober i did before and need to do it again i have lost my alot and missed lots of opprtunities due to hang overs and anxiety due to beer i am ready and will quit its going to be dificult but not impossible thanks my friends and will soon enjoy my morning coffee and the will and honesty to help others with sobriety and enjoy life. Thanks god bless you belle…

  • Day one, after many attempts with the usual outcome, I am glad I found you all and I can only pray I am as strong, wish me luck, I’m coming along too. Chiswickhy (I’ll keep a blog too) best wishes to all.

  • I am on day 9… I love the obituary idea (sober vs. Drinking) to compare varying futures. For me, right now I am taking it one day at a time, as the idea of NEVER drinking again is overwhelming. Writing about my issue has been therapeutic…I even started my own blog ( – kind of like an online journal with the off chance that someone may read and offer words of support. Well wishes to all!

  • Day 37 for me today and don’t have the juice to write an obituary, but love the idea. This is my raise my hand, “I am here” post. I am tired and unmotivated all day every day, but am not reaching for a beer to change my mood. Waiting patiently for the light of energy to kick on inside me. I was happier and more patient with people when I was drinking, but I did not know who I was.
    It appears that mental fogginess and physical fatigue are going to challenge for a bit longer on this booze free path. Seeing a doctor next week to rule out anything medical and am actually going to be honest about how much alcohol I was drinking. I always lied right on the forms about how many drinks each week. Looking forward to telling the truth to people who want to help me.

    • I am on day 15, also feeling very fatigued. I am going to force myself to exercise today because I know it will help. I am be tired and crabby but I am sober and that’s what matters! Keep up the good work!

    • I loved this. It’s not my story, yet similar — ALL of our paths twist & turn & crawl & meander, overlapping here & there. I’m so glad I’m a part of our group, held so tenderly together by dear Belle. Good on you, Patrick.

    • Great that you are going to see the doctor, Patrick, just to rule anything else out. Funny you mention the forms, I always lied on those too. I am a bit behind you on days, so feeling sleepy and foggy as well. I’ve made it past that point once before, so rest assured it does go away.