What they’ll find when they do my autopsy

By Karen S. Elliott

Heart – Obviously broken numerous times; healed, masses of scar tissue.

Lungs – Extended. Reports indicate subject breathed life into others and their manuscripts.

Brain – Huge brain, full of writing and publishing matter, vocabulary, insane thoughts, kind thoughts; a couple chunks missing, cause undetermined.

Eyes – Bloodshot, massive crow’s feet. Causes – disproportionate merriment while writing, editing, Facebooking.

Ears – Eardrums distorted and disfigured. Reports indicate subject marched to the beat of a different drummer.

Hands, fingers – Calloused fingertips, computer keyboard impressions evident.

Elbows – Worn thin. Causes, assumed – holding head in hands, extended time at her desk.

Shoulders – Over-abundance of tear stains. Interviews with associates indicate subject frequently offered a shoulder to cry on.

Back, spine – Bulging and curved. Records indicate subject occasionally withstood extraneous worry.

Ribs – Twisted. Cause – writing rib-tickling blogs, poetry, and short stories.

Butt – Baby got back. Gluteus maximus is quite broad and flat. Reports suggest subject spent too much time sitting.

Knees – Rough, raw. Cause, assumed – excessive time expended praying for success.

Legs – Strong, muscular. Reports indicate subject stood tall and firm in her ethics, honesty.

Feet – Rigid, balanced. Interviews with associates confirm subject stood on principles.

Lap – Worn to the bone. Reports and interviews suggest subject often held and comforted others.

Mouth – Subject’s lips frozen in a smile. Many laugh lines. Reports indicate excessive laughter with family, grandchildren, and friends…and a life well lived.

What would we find at your autopsy?

Karen S. Elliott was raised by a mother who wanted to be an English teacher and who worked for Merriam-Webster as a proofreader and an aunt who could complete the Sunday New York Times crossword in a day. Their favorite expression was, “Look it up!” Karen reads punctuation and grammar manuals for fun.

Karen is an editor and proofreader, blogger, and writer. She edits fiction and non-fiction including: sci-fi, fantasy, children’s, mystery, paranormal, western, horror, literary, historical, and journalism. Karen completed her writing coursework through UCLA and University of New Mexico, and was the winner of the SouthWest Writers 2009 Writing Contest – The Best Hook. Her short stories have been featured in The Rose & Thorn Journal, Every Child is Entitled to Innocence anthology, Valley Living Magazine, BewilderingStories.com, and WritingRaw.com. She is currently working on collections of short stories and poetry.



Filed under Editing & Proofreading, Personal Articles

27 responses to “What they’ll find when they do my autopsy

  1. Go Karen! How to make the morbid into something to smile about.

  2. Clever – and nicely crafted. Keep up the good work (and may it be many, many years before the autopsy).

  3. They’d find a smile on my lips, because I was doing what I loved best till the end, and what God gifted me to do….WRITE. Clever post, Karen!

  4. Karen, what a wonderful way to look at life! I love it! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  5. LOVE THIS! I’ve struck gold this morning – tried to do some visiting before settling down to write TLC and the first two blogs I read – yours and roughwriting I love love love love!

    gonna share this too!

  6. That is a super lovely post! You are so touching and funny at the same time!

  7. Love. As always, thank you for sharing your brilliance and humor with us.

  8. Thanks all! This was fun to write. I don’t even remember what the inspiration was, but once it showed up, it had to be written.

  9. I noticed no report of any undigested lumps of vitriol. That’s good. I better work on purging mine. Great post!

  10. Loved this, Karen. Very creative!

  11. Thanks Vaughn and Randy for your nice comments. 🙂

  12. This is just super. Love the idea and the execution (pardon the pun!). Although, I would have thought they just found stubs for ears, worn out as they would be from all the listening to others that you do 🙂 xo

  13. Oh, I love that pun! Fabulous. You are kind to mention my stubby ears.

  14. What a fascinating and thought provoking post, Karen. Gotta think about this a bit more!

  15. Love it, Karen. Several years ago, I completed an assignment in a class in which I had to write my own eulogy – but autopsy? I love the body-approach! Clever and interesting. Thanks! – Cathy

  16. This one packed a wallop, Karen! Clever and amusing on the surface…poignant and moving as it sank down deeper.

    I’ve read about the exercise of writing a “what I’d like it to be” eulogy for yourself so you can throw your internal energy into becoming that person (if you’re not already). Your approach is different, and I hope the taking stock you did to write it gave you a glimpse into all you’ve contributed to your friends, associates, and the world in your life. You’re my role model for “pay it forward.”

    And I’m with Duncan…let’s hope you have many more years to keep making the world a better place.

  17. Esther

    I like this, Karen. I know you better now and it put a smile on my face.

  18. Amity Moore

    Interesting read, Karen. Engaging and insightful. Thank you.

  19. Fabulous title – fabulous post. Really makes us (your reader) think!!!

  20. Pingback: The Word Shark « inspired2ignite

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