I remember in my journalistic apprenticeship years ago learning that the Obituary columns was typically the most widely read portion of the newspaper. They provide a concise snapshot of one’s life and loved one for obvious reasons highlighting the positives and high points of the individual’s life.
Recently, some departed have embraced this bereavement benediction to moving and comical extremes. NBC Today featured some of the funniest bones being laid to rest in their piece “Light-hearted obits more than a passing fancy, say family of 2013’s funniest dead”
- “More dearly departed, it seems, are departing drolly, having their personalities punctuate their obituaries — typically dry tallies of occupations, affiliations and surviving relations. Instead, folks like William Freddie McCullough are bidding farewell amid playful write-ups that disclose pure passions, loathsome gripes, and those singular quirks that make each of us, us…Freddie adored the ladies. And they adored him. There isn’t enough space here to list all of the women from Freddie’s past. There isn’t enough space in the (local) phone book…Freddie was killed when he rushed into a burning orphanage to save a group of adorable children. Or maybe not. We all know how he liked to tell stories.”
Jane Catherine Lotter’s approach was more inspirational (tinged with humour) featured in Huffington Post’s “Seattle Author’s Powerful Self-Written Obituary Goes Viral”…
- “One of the few advantages of dying from Grade 3, Stage IIIC endometrial cancer, recurrent and metastasized to the liver and abdomen, is that you have time to write your own obituary. (The other advantages are no longer bothering with sunscreen and no longer worrying about your cholesterol.)… I was given the gift of life, and now I have to give it back. This is hard. But I was a lucky woman, who led a lucky existence, and for this I am grateful…May you always remember that obstacles in the path are not obstacles, they ARE the path.”