By in Personal

Obituaries - Where Have They Gone?

Maybe I'm just "old school," but if someone I knew died, I would go to the newspaper to read his or her obituary. It would provide details, such as when and where some service might be held, but more importantly to me, it told me details of their life and family I knew little or nothing about. It also may have alluded to cause of death. It made me feel closer to the person. Some might even cut out the obituary and save it.

Now if you want to speak of "old school," you might speak of my great-grandfather's day. I found his obituary. It was actually quite lengthy and described how, in his drowning death, he rose and sank and rose and sank, then did not rise anymore until a passing boat brought his body to the surface. Now that is old school.

To me, the tragic thing to me is that a person who dies might not even be given an obituary. Why you might not know someone has died for weeks, months, even years. If there is an obituary, it is rare indeed to list cause of death. And the sad thing is, if I find out why not, I might actually understand why not! For instance...

Today, two county residents were given an obituary on a local funeral home Facebook page. No cause of death was provided in either instance. My daughter knows of these persons. She confided in me that one committed suicide and the other probably overdosed on drugs. Perhaps, then, the lack of an obituary or at least cause of death, can be at least partly attributed to the degenerate life experiences to be had in modern-day Society. So sad!

Image Credit »

You will need an account to comment - feel free to register or login.


MegL wrote on May 28, 2022, 7:24 PM

VinceSummers Yes obituaries are interesting to read. I always assumed that "died after a short illness" meant heart attack or stroke and "died after a long illness" meant cancer but some of the best indicators are the charities that many people want mourners to support instead of sending flowers or wreaths, although not always. One person I know died from cancer but his widow asked for contributions to cystic fibrosis, which one of her grandchildren suffers from. It's such a shame when someone young commits suicide. I knew someone recently who was suffering from deep depression, who committed suicide. The people left behind (wife and two pre teens) just don't understand why they were left. It's very hard for them to pick up their lives.

VinceSummers wrote on May 28, 2022, 8:49 PM

Yes, I take note of that as well. In the case of suicide, this instance, it seems likely it was because his mate had recently died. I do recall one obituary of the mother of a friend. The friend has been in a wheelchair from infancy. His mother used to beat him regularly. She died at 42. Comments on her death ran like, "She was loved by all who knew her (memorized words)" and "She was too young to die" and "She will be greatly missed" (again, memorized words). In fact, she died of a drug overdose.

VinceSummers wrote on May 29, 2022, 8:35 AM

There is another cause, perhaps two, why obituaries do not appear. They 1. cost too much, at least in the opinion of the one who would post one, or 2. there is no one alive or interested in posting one. Just as the second grave in a matched pair may not have the date of the second one's death on the stone.

VinceSummers wrote on May 29, 2022, 12:20 PM

Meg, I forget how to tag a person's attention on this site. There is another comment concerning obituaries and their lack that I posted. Can you think of anything more?

MegL wrote on May 29, 2022, 7:43 PM

To tag a person, use the Ampersand sign & before their name as shown in the top left hand corner

MegL wrote on May 29, 2022, 7:48 PM

If the people writing those words knew that she regularly beat her disabled son, how could they write them? I know it is said not to speak ill of the dead but that does not mean praising them. No one knows how hard another's life has been, so it is best not to judge but it still does not mean saying how wonderful they were, if you knew they were hurting a helpless, dependent person.

MegL wrote on May 29, 2022, 7:49 PM

I suppose some people think there is not enough of interest in the person's life to justify an obituary.

VinceSummers wrote on May 29, 2022, 10:09 PM

Tragic. As for the "mother" I mentioned, her son was taken away from her by Social Services. Later, the father tried to get him back. The father was possibly worse than the mother. He wanted his son back because he needed a kidney. Thankfully, his son saw through it and later was adopted by his foster parents.

MegL wrote on May 31, 2022, 1:49 AM

Some children have very difficult lives. Thankfully some get helped but unfortunately some slip through the net.