Image via Shreveport Times
Taylor Grant Loyd crammed a lot of life into the 19 years and 75 days he spent on Earth, the kind of life that provides a good example for others. That's why they wrote his obituary as a "Resume for Life," offering his adventures as qualifications and his family and countless friends as references.
Taylor's mother, Terri Cole, handwrote the obituary on a legal pad at the funeral home, seeking something different to remember her youngest son, "a pretty special kid." She shared it with the extended family and, of course, there were tears. Like when Cole first shared the draft by reading it aloud and she got to the part where it notes that there were three men Taylor most admired: his father, Marty Loyd, and his older brothers, Mitch and Aaron.
But there was a lot of laughter. Remember when Taylor went surfing in Florida, but was more interested in the girl on the beach than the board? "He probably would have made an awesome politician. He loved babies and girls," Cole said.
Remember the trip to Maine, when Taylor wanted to try that $40 lobster dish?
"I think we got him a hot dog instead," his mother said.
Marty Loyd said his son, who had recently been promoted at the car dealership where he was working, loved anything with four wheels and racing, one reason his obituary notes he "crossed the finish line a winner." (In a sad twist, Taylor died in a one-car accident that occurred after he'd finished playing softball with co-workers.)
Loyd said he has a photo of the pre-school-aged Taylor changing the spark plugs on one of the family's race cars. The adult Taylor shared that love of racing, and his casket will bear racing stickers like the ones that once adorned his truck.
"We are celebrating his life," Marty Loyd said.
Natalie Pompilio is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. Her lifelong love of obituaries raised eyebrows when she was younger, but she's now able to explain that this interest goes beyond morbid curiosity. Says Pompilio, "Obituaries are mini life stories, allowing a glimpse into someone's world that we're often denied. I just wish we could share them with each other when we're alive."