I sure do love to read obituaries.  I’m not too fond of the sad ones where a child dies, but I like to read about the old timers.  See where they were born and grew up.  What kind of kooky names they had (“Ida Belle Reimerstiller Jones Kreilcamp. Known to her friends as Betty.”)  Try to imagine what they were really like, despite all the niceness of the obituary (“Betty was always smiling.  She never met a person who didn’t love her.”  You just know that wasn’t true!)

I suppose I’m most fascinated with the deceased who are my age.  Were they single? (so sad.  What was the matter with them that they were still single at that age?)  Kids?  Religious?  Do they have a recent picture or just some old snapshot. (For some reason a snapshot seems extra sad.  Didn’t they have anyone they liked enough to get a portrait taken for?)  

In our newspaper In Oregon it was popular to put a title or phrase under the person’s name.  Something like “World’s Best Grandma” or “We’ll always love you Joe.”  Ocassionally you’d get something zany like “Gone Fishin”.  Did people really think he’d gone fishin’?  What exactly were they trying to say?  Just that he loved fishing?  Then why didn’t they just say that? (“Fisherman Extraordinaire”).  Or “Forever Young”, except that she was 87 and pretty much died of old age.

The thing that drives me absolutely batty, though, is when a cause of death is not listed.  If it’s anyone under the age of 75, I want to know what happened!  Even if it’s a drug overdose (especially if it is.)  You know people are going to be asking.  Might as well just nip all the rumors in the bud, I say.  Sometimes there are little clues like, “in lieu of flowers we ask that donations be made to the American Breast Cancer Society.”  But I’m not exactly Remington Steele.  Give me some hints!

All I know is this, I’d better write my obituary right now.  I’m not going to take the chance of my swan song getting messed up.


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8 thoughts on “R.I.P.

  1. I thought my husband was the only one who was so into obits. You’re right. The stories they contain are usually pretty interesting!

    Since I’m such a fan of your blog, I had to tag you on mine!

  2. Obits are the first section I read. Love to eat a can of pillsbury orange rolls while doing it too. Crazy, huh?

  3. Scary how much we think alike when reading obituaries. Thanks for capturing the essence of this quirky indulgence!

  4. Jennie H., known to her friends as “Disco Queen,” died at age_____ of a Mt. Dew and salt and pepper kettle chips overdose. Survived by 6 gorgeous children. Best known for her love of collecting emergency essentials (sadly never used), online shopping, and coordinating more flowery patterns than you thought possible. Never met a candy she didn’t like. Her fragrant house always smelled of Chevy’s chips and salsa. Exercise was her nemesis. She had beautiful white teeth and her children were always well-dressed. If you needed some obscure trivia on Medieval French literature, Jennie was your girl. Everyone knew her baking prowess–if you were lucky enough to taste the delights of her kitchen, you know what I’m talking about. Jennie’s final resting place will be just outside the mall parking lot, so she’ll feel at home. (And we’ll be selling off large quantities of peanut butter, oats, and wheat really cheap after the funeral). RIP, Jennie.

    How’s that? Still working on your own?

  5. I so thought I was the only one who cant stand when the obit doesnt say how/why they passed, it drives me crazy just tell the truth so we dont have to wonder!!!

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