Little known facts:
Obituaries, a section of the newspaper read most by the older set. We have local obits on ‘speed dial’ ;-). We often comment of the pictures used. i.e. For an 85 year old. It can be a recent shot, Home Coming Queen, a young military guy in uniform, Girl Scout, sports star picture, a bride or groom. IT can also be anything in between.
We often wonder why? We have been there when the Funeral Home asks for a picture. Unless the death is anticipated the grieved are at a loss. Some want to remember their loved one youthful and vibrant, others want to remember them as they were the last time they were active in this life.
For the nationally famous, the family and paper will decide because there will be many photos used. Locally well known, the same locally. If the deceased is Jack or Jane Doe, local resident, then the family will chose the last memorial. Some pictures make me ask, “What were they thinking?” Unless I was there, I will never know.
Funeral homes know pictures mean a lot. Now they ask for a collection of family photos featuring the deceased and produce a video for the family. The video will be shown during the ‘viewing’ and for an hour before the service. The mortuary will have these available for anyone interested (for a nominal fee). It is a nice gesture and keepsake, while an additional cash flow for the Funeral Home.
Years ago my sister Shirl insisted I write the obit I want put in the paper. She had faced that ‘spur of the moment’ decision and knew it would be easier for the survivors, if I had this prepared. She was absolutely right. Since then Sherry and I have faced the same situations, and most of you have also. So I did write my obit, I need to dig it out and update it. I told Shirl she was going to be amazed how good I WAS, when she read it. LOL
My problem now is WHICH PICTURE?
Sherry says I may not get the choice, she has one picked out:
Also to be considered is the cost of an obit. Very short ones are free. Longer ones in our Charlotte Observer are approx $41 a column inch. They can get expensive. The Raleigh News and Observer once printed a ‘first hand’ obit. Where 94 yr old Wilma Black ‘told it like it was’ (for $500). Wilma Black passed away on December 22, she left behind five children, 16 "known" grandchildren, and an obituary that’s best described as candid and heartbreaking.
The obituary references an adulterous husband and a son who essentially left her to die alone. The final line describes her life as a modern day tragedy: "I am very sad right now."
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