I am interested in your feelings on obituaries.
Some of them just say, "Mabel Toadvine of Boxiron died Thursday March 12, 2013. Services by Hollingsworth Funeral Home." I say, "Why bother?" That's all she gets?
Then there are the interminable ones which you can't figure out if they were written by a vain person while still alive, or a pretentious survivor trying to impress you with their love the deceased or relation to him. These are the ones which are like little biographies, but with everything made to sound so very important. They often contain errors/lies but newspapers don't touch obit copy, they print what they are given; I asked.
Then there are the ones made confusing by what was left out. Like: "John von Ah died Thursday.... is survived by his wife Jane Wellington von Ah, his sons Paul-Michel von Ah (Alice) and Ricky Ricardo (Lucy). No explanation for two sons with different last names. Another version of this is when married daughters are listed and grandchildren with unrelated surnames.
Well written obituaries don't leave a lot of questions. I appreciate it when one reads: "Mabel Toadvine died Thursday.... survived by two sons from her marriage to Mark Perdue, Luger Perdue and Ruger Perdue, her husband of 23 years Francis Asbury Toadvine and her daughter Maria Belle Toadvine. "
I use obituaries to track genealogy for my native region. Someday, the grandchildren of these people will use my work to know who they are.... because few people actually track distant relations and extended family lines.
The one's I don't get are the ones who give who they are pre-deceased by then they give every person the deceased ever knew.
I get a chuckle when pets get top billing. "Martha Washbucket of Ape's Hole* died Thursday. She is survived by her poodles Freda, Mamie, and Missy, her daughters Thelma Washbucket Schlotsky and Lois W. Drainpipe."
Originally Posted by NJCardFan
* an actual place
Imagine how the daughters feel, especially when that's the precedence in the will.
Originally Posted by Novaheart
I've never really thought of my obituary, although I'm sure that others have (with great relish), but I suppose that most of the notices are to inform those in the immediate area of the services and let them know the schedule, and many of the things that you've described were not thought out beyond those immediate requirements, at least for the short ones. I would think that a longer obit would be of value for a community that had lost someone of great accomplishment or historical significance, but is otherwise an exercise in vanity.
I was commenting more on the style rather than the lack of brevity. I see obituaries as part of the collective culture and story. One group of people whose stories get lost or abbreviated to a passing reference are the displaced persons. If Mrs. Joshua Tidewater is actually Rachel Novitsky Tidewater who fled Poland in a shipping crate prior to marrying an American ship captain and becoming part of the national fabric, I think that is worth the time and attention of even unrelated persons. It's kind of like Alex Sink (former Dem candidate for Florida); sure her personal accomplishments are noteworthy but what is most interesting about her is that she is the great granddaughter of Chang Bunker of Chang and Eng Bunker fame. Wouldn't it be sad if that got lost to an obit that merely named her grandmother?
Originally Posted by Odysseus
A few years ago I wrote my father's obituary. Most newspapers now charge for obits. It can be very expensive.
Here's my obituary:
NJCardFan passed away quietly in his home. Thank God that MFer is gone.