Maybe the obit obsession, like arthritis or cataracts, is an inevitable condition of old age. 

When I was a little kid, I watched my grandma read the obituaries in the San Antonio Light.  It was the first section of the paper she opened, I think.  Likewise, my parents became death watchers doing a cursory glance at the front page before lighting onto the index and page number where the obits would be found.

I’m not there yet, but I have found that my stroll through the Corpus Christi Caller stops dead (unfortunate choice of words) when I see the obituaries.   I generally check to make sure there’s nobody I know and then do a quick check to see the ages of the dead people.  My mortality gets jilted awake when I see someone under 50 died. 

I would like there to be a cause of death listed when it’s a young person.  I used to think it was morbid curiousity and it was at one time.  Having lost my son when he was only 20, I think it would be nice to just let people know up front what happened.  I found that the hardest question that I had to answer was the compulsory conversation starter:  “How did it happen?”  Always asked in a too sweet tone, it made me want to start shrieking.  Putting it in the obituary would avoid that dumb question.

As a member of a 12 step (anonymous at the level of press) program, I like seeing a photo of the deceased.  It lets me know that John S. who has been sitting next to me for 3 years at meetings is really John Smith and I can respond accordingly. 

Did you know that some famous people have been memorialized prematurely?  A newspaper published a premature obituary about Albert Nobel calling him a “merchant of death” which might have caused him to start the Nobel prize.

Ben Franklin said, “I wake up every morning at nine and grab the morning paper.  Then I look at the obituary page.  If my name is not on it, I get up.”

Marcus Garvey, the black nationalist, died when he saw HIS premature obituary. 

That might be a good reason to lose the obit obsession.

About texasgaga

I am a mom, a grandmom (Gaga to my 2nd oldest grand-child), a sister, a friend, a construction estimator, a homeowner, an active member of a 12 step recovery group, an artist, a reader, a survivor, a do it yourself wannabe, a laugher
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