This may sound a bit morbid but I read the obituaries every day. I mainly do this because 9 times out of 10 I know someone who’s listed. I try to send cards or attend services where appropriate. We’re at that age where people around us are dying. I learn a lot about people reading their obits. What they accomplished. What type of family members they had. Where they went to school. Charitable organizations they were passionate about. What their nicknames were. Many times, however, it’s not apparent how these people died, and I’m often curious. I wonder what happened to them – especially when they are young.
In my Sunday paper, I read a rather disturbing obit. There was a photo of a young man who appeared to be in his 20s. The copy said he had taken his own life – unintentionally – with drug use. It went on to state the dangers of drug use by young people. It talked about how he had devastated his entire family including a 3-year-old daughter. It continued on to lecture those who think they may want to use drugs and the risks involved. Quite non-traditional, but very moving. I hope what his family wrote will save some other young people’s lives.
Good thought and nice wishes. However, I don’t think most young people read the obituaries. I also don’t think these kinds of stories resonate unless it’s very close to home. Even then, there’s an air of invincibility that comes with youth.
I also read the obituaries every day. I scan to see if there is anyone I know. Then, I go back and read the ones with the quirky nicknames. I am obsessed with it. Some families feel the need to state the obvious, i.e. Robert “Bob” Johnson. (As if the reading public couldn’t figure that one out.) Others include ridiculous nicknames, i.e. Robert “Goofball” Johnson. Not very dignified.
We’ve lost a lot of dignity in our society. People wear jeans to weddings and funerals. My husband always says, “Look, he’s wearing his good black jeans.” I’m still old-fashioned enough to think your obituary and your funeral should be dignified.
As a control freak, I plan to write my own obituary and let my loved ones know where to find it. No nicknames allowed.