In our house we’ve fallen into the morning ritual of scanning the obits. As people always have we look for folks we know personally or their families —or try to connect the dots where six feet under meet six degrees of separation. But there’s also something else: Â we search for people close to our own age.Â
“Look…this woman was only 45.”
“Cancer. And they’re having her wake at New Comer-Cannon. Whatever you do don’t take me to New Comer-Cannon.”Â
My wife, Ann, views New Comer-Cannon as the McDonald’s of funeral homes. Me? I couldn’t care if you take me to the animal shelter and have me cremated. According to their website they’ll do items up to 200 pounds for just for $150. That sounds like a good deal to me.
The main thing we want to see is what killed these middle age people. Some obits come right and say how they died while others make you look and see if the family’s requestedÂ contributions to fight cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and the like. I’m thinking of asking in my obit that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Sophie Cameron Trust. That will really make people wonder. “Suddenly” can be a frustrating word to find in obituaries because could it just as well be a heart attack or brain embolism as a car accident.Â
Anyway, I’d like to recommend that you take some time this week to write your own obituary. You never know when you’re going to go and it will be one less thing for your family to deal with when you do. You can’t control what kills you, but for once you can control what gets printed in the paper.
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I’m having it put in my will that no matter the true cause my passing will be attributed to St Vitas Dance
I always thought that would be a good name for a band.
That’s a terrific post, one of your best.
For many years, I wondered if my obsession with checking the obits was morbid or common for someone my age.
I, too, was interested to know the cause of the demise and, when it wasn’t specifically mentioned, thinking myself so clever to be “sleuthing” it via the “in lieu of flowers” trail.
So, thanks to you, I feel a little less morbid and a little more normal today.
As a child, I grew up overhearing grandparents and other relatives whispering about the fact that my mother had had St. Vitus’ Dance when she was a child. I’d put it out of my mind until Paul D.’s comment. In googling it, I learned that it was not much more than a nervous tic that commonly accompanied a bout with rheumatic fever. So, that’s cool to know. Thanks, Paul D.
Glad I tuned in tonight!
I’m only 36 and read the obits religiously.
I am glad to know others share this strange compulsion.
BTW – Please convince someone, if not you, to start blogging about the Albany area media again. The public needs it!
The public does need it.
You have no idea how much it pains me to keep my mouth shut…
Someone with nothing to lose has to step up….
It would even behoove the writers and on-air talent for someone to details the behind-the-scenes and corporate decisions impacting them and us.