Who’s writing this stuff?!

I was in the sauna yesterday and came across a crinkled piece of newspaper which was destined for the fire.  I had a look and discovered that it was open to the obituary page, so I read it.  I happen to be interested in obituaries.  I like to see how people get presented after the bottom line is drawn under their efforts.  After it’s over it’s now a story, because it’s finished, and now it can be told. It has a shape now.  Now the “official version” gets propagated.  Sometimes the deceased has written up his own obit in advance.  Other times it’s a close relative.  This one, I think, was written by the “dear friend” with whom the deceased lived.  I won’t divulge the name on this one, out of some sense of decency, but here is a snippet:

“John would never have been accused of being an easy person.  His personality was complex and often unpredictable; his children now find in themselves some of the qualities they once viewed as difficult and, at times, exasperating.  Fierce loyalty to family, a sense of privacy, pride, a love of the finer things and eccentricity were among these traits.  A tendency to say or do too much was to be expected.”

Poor guy!  He’s not even cold in his grave and already he’s being damned with faint praise and left-handed compliments.  “He was a bastard, but he was our bastard!”

So I’m thinking, maybe I’d better plan on writing my own obit right now, because there is no way I want anybody putting out that “honesty” stuff  when I’m gone.  I want nice things, said in bland ways.  I think I’ll get busy on this right away.

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2 thoughts on “Who’s writing this stuff?!

  1. Love this! I’ve always said that I’d like someone to say, “Then again, he could be a real bastard,” but only as a joke. It’s an obituary—you ought to be able to honor him and leave your own resentments and grudges behind. This obit reflects more poorly on the “bereaved” than the dead.

  2. Too funny! Well not funny really… but hey, the guy must have been a real bastard. Maybe the best approach would have been to say nothing at all. That may have said it best.

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