Some obituaries go beyond the usual "survived by" and funeral arrangement information to give an unprecedented look into the life the deceased person.
That's what a Wisconsin family wanted for Mary Mullaney, who was known as Pink to those close to her.
Mullaney died September 1 at 85 years old, but her six children and 17 grandchildren wanted to share the things they learned from her that will continue to live on, perhaps even in the lives of strangers now inspired by reading her obituary.
Mary "Pink" Mullaney's family wants some of her life lessons to live on. (Image via WAOW video screenshot)
"We wanted something that showed who she was," Mullaney's daughter Maryanne, told WAOW-TV. "We said, how can we be like her and carry her pinkness across."
"We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Pink during her 85 years," the obituary says and then begins a lengthy list.
We've broken out some of choice parts, but the full obituary is worth a read:
- Never throw away old pantyhose. Use the old ones to tie gutters, child-proof cabinets, tie toilet flappers, or hang Christmas ornaments.
- If a possum takes up residence in your shed, grab a barbecue brush to coax him out. If he doesn't leave, brush him for twenty minutes and let him stay.
- Go to church with a chicken sandwich in your purse. Cry at the consecration, every time. Give the chicken sandwich to your homeless friend after mass.
- When you learn someone's name, share their patron saint's story, and their feast day, so they can celebrate.
- Invite new friends to Thanksgiving dinner. If they are from another country and you have trouble understanding them, learn to "listen with an accent."
- Never say mean things about anybody; they are "poor souls to pray for."
- Put picky-eating children in the box at the bottom of the laundry chute, tell them they are hungry lions in a cage, and feed them veggies through the slats.
- Correspond with the imprisoned and have lunch with the cognitively challenged.
- Keep the car keys under the front seat so they don't get lost. Make the car dance by lightly tapping the brakes to the beat of songs on the radio.
- Allow the homeless to keep warm in your car while you are at Mass.
- Take magazines you've already read to your doctors' office for others to enjoy. Do not tear off the mailing label, "Because if someone wants to contact me, that would be nice."
Mullaney's friends and family published some of her lessons because they belief the world needs more people like her. (Image via WAOW video screenshot)
"Those who've taken her lessons to heart will continue to ensure that a cold drink will be left for the overheated garbage collector and mail carrier, every baby will be kissed, every nursing home resident will be visited, the hungry will have a sandwich, the guest will have a warm bed and soft nightlight, and the encroaching possum will know the soothing sensation of a barbecue brush upon its back," the obituary continued. "Above all, Pink wrote - to everyone, about everything. You may read this and recall a letter from her that touched your heart, tickled your funny bone, or maybe made you say 'huh?'"
WAOW was so inspired by Mullaney's spunky personality as captured in her obituary that it said it was sorry it didn't get the chance to feature her while she was alive. In order to avoid similar missed opportunities in the future, the local news outlet decided to revive its "Someone You Should Know" series.
Watch WAOW's report about the inspirational obituary: