Life Lessons from Obituaries

Sit down with your favourite beverage and enjoy a fascinating collection of essays—one theme for each month of the year—inspired by real obituaries and filled with quirky anecdotes, interesting perspectives, and thoughtful insights.

Published by Mosaic Press, March 13, 2021.

Ask for a copy at your local independent bookstore.

Available on McNally Robinson * Amazon.ca * Amazon.com * Chapters-Indigo * Barnes & Noble * Books-A-Millionand more.

Tamara Macpherson Vukusic

I’ve been devouring the obituaries for more than 20 years; clipping my favourites, highlighting the lines that bring me pause and growing a strong appreciation for carefully crafted words that make me feel the loss of someone I wish I knew.

Come with me and meet the fascinating people and life lessons I’ve found in the obituaries.

Life Lessons from the Obituaries

Hidden in plain sight, within the average obituary, lie gems and insights into what it means to be human: our foibles, as unique as our fingerprint; our quiet triumphs, our collective wisdom.
Life Lessons from the Obituaries was born from a 20+year passion for reading the obituaries. Born of the curiosity about what makes people tick. Born of a love of language, nowhere more poignant than in a tribute to a life well-lived.
Read it here.

Hear what readers are saying about Tamara’s work:



“Tamara Vukusic has a lovely knack of highlighting her favorite obits and turning them into nuggets of golden wisdom and humor.

Life lessons from the obituaries: A decadent dissection of lives lived by characters whose habits and philosophies are worth emulating.

A gentle reminder that it’s not our salaries or credentials that define us.”

Shelley Joyce, CBC Daybreak Kamloops Host



“Thoughtfully written and surprisingly uplifting. Readers get insights into the worlds of others, including Vukusic’s endearingly eccentric life. We see how individuals are shaped by circumstances, choices, and personality, and the legacies they left.

I am particularly fond of the reflection questions and imagine them as family conversation starters.”

Heather Parrott, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology at Long Island University



“Funny and smart read that turns what is a popular pastime into witty life advice. The First Person essay was one of the column’s much-loved reads and still sends me to the obit pages to read between the lines, looking for perspective, strength and interesting people.

Catherine Dawson March, editor, First Person essays, The Globe and Mail