VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – Imagine spending most of your life writing people’s obituaries.

Long-time Victoria journalist Tom Hawthorn has done just that, with a twice-weekly column in the Globe and Mail.

Now he’s released a book, “Deadlines – The Obits of Memorable British Columbians,” which is essentially a collection of final notices.

“You can look in the paid notices every day and find an absolutely fascinating story about someone in BC,” says Hawthorn.

Obituaries aren’t morbid, he insists. They are celebrations of a life.

“The idea is to capture the fullness of someone’s life. There’s one obit in the book for a comedy writer named Jack Winter. If you don’t end up laughing then you don’t have a sense of humour.”

And he points out his book isn’t the first on the topic.

“People are surprised that I’ve done a collection of obituaries that appeared in the newspaper. But there’s actually a number of books that have been done on the subject including one by the New York Times and the Telegraph of London.”

You can hear Tom talk about Life On the Dead Beat on Monday evening at the Vancouver Public Library downtown location.