Life Lessons from Obituaries

Using mere words, we try to breathe life into a few memories and milestones, to catch a glimpse of someone no longer with us.

Former reporter, poetry lover, and word nerd Tamara Vukusic has devoured the obituaries for more than 20 years. She clips favourites, highlighting the lines that make us feel the loss of someone we wish we knew.

A fascinating collection of essays: one theme for each month of the year­inspired by real obituaries and filled with quirky anecdotes, interesting perspectives, and thoughtful observations. Whether you have an insatiable curiosity about humans,
an appreciation of the writing craft, or are simply a connoisseur of the art of living, obittersweet is a timeless and timely gift.

Published by Mosaic Press Spring 2021



“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