The Un-Funny Pages

Even when we stopped paying for the paper, it still finds a way to show up in our driveway.

So Hubby is enjoying the extended time on his crosswords and sports pages and I am still loathing seeing the paper mess all over the kitchen, dining room, and bathroom.

May as well join 'em, i've tried to beat 'em.

After a quick scan of the front page for anything related to me, my kids, my town, or an earthquake, I head for my favorite, yet morbid section of the paper.
The Obits.

I'm wickedly, freakishly, fascinated with the obituaries.

Lie to me and tell me I'm not the only one.

The paper we get isn't the most local for our area, so 99.75% of the people I do not know.

Which is probably better than the reverse.

a)What is so fascinating about stranger's deaths?
b)What is so intriguing about going down the list of their heirs and seeing if they're related to someone I know? To me!?
c)Why do I always look at the place to make donations at the end of the story.

Well, a)it just is, b)I just want to know, and c)because it gives me an inkling to how or why they died.

Creepy right? Now i'm that creepy mom blog.

I prefer the obits with photos too. Often the photo is recent, other times it's an old treasured snapshot I imagine the writer wanted others to cherish as they did.

I don't like when it's a baby/toddler/young child. Well, anyone under the age of 80 actually. It seems wrong. And, sadder than most. Life incomplete.

But, again, you only get a small glimpse into a life. Maybe that young child had problems from birth. Maybe they've been suffering and this death was a blessing.

Tragic or natural, unexpected or expected. It's a loss.

Someone is missed, someone is heartbroken, someone is gone forever.

A part of life.
.
.
.

Don't you ever wonder what will be said in your final story?

Who will write it?

What picture will be there for other strangers people to see?

What song do you want played at your funeral?

Sometimes I don't think I want to know.

34 supporters in group:

  1. Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

    The thought of what will be said of me after I die is one of the main things I think about when making a decision. How I treat others, my kids, my hubby. Not always that I do the right thing, but it sure does help.

    From what I can tell from you Jen - people will say you were fun and funny and loving and friendly. I am sure those closer to you can think of many more wonderful things.

    I hope my final story says I was a loving mom, friend and wife and that I gave back to others.

    Song - anything that makes people reflect on how precious life is.

    Picture - any where I am laughing.

  2. Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

    "The paper we get isn't the most local for our area, so 99.75% of the people I do not know.

    Which is probably better than the reverse."

    Brilliant! (AS usual.)

    I have the same morbid curiosity... which is why I AVOID the obits at all costs. :)

  3. Jamey said...

    I used to check out the obits all the time in my home town because I did know most of the people. I don't look at it as often, now that I have moved. But I do read the oned with pictures. I told my hubby (If I go first)He has to play "Homesick" by Mercy me at my funeral.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3k1rJOQPdY
    listen to the words, makes me cry evertime!

  4. Stacie said...

    I won't lie, I read them too...in my case our paper is ALL local, so I see if I knew them, if they knew me, if I knew their kids, yada yada...and yeah on the donation...it gives me an idea of HOW they died. I don't think it is all that sick...or maybe I am just as sick as you...

  5. Deb said...

    oh i LOVE a good, morbid post!... i have given strict instructions to my husband, if he should outlive me (he comes from hearty stock), to make sure to go on and on and on about how wonderful i was. then he can flush me down the toilet, as far as i'm concerned!

    i DO always look for the donation thing to see if it gives a clue as to cause of death.

    oh, and photos are a MUST!

  6. Patois said...

    I always read the death notices, primarily the ones with pictures. (I can go your oddness one step further I think: I read the ones with pictures because I sense they had fuller lives and left behind loads of people who loved them so paid the extra to include the photo.)

  7. Ranch Girl said...

    My hubby reads them, and I have to admit I do too - almost all of the ones in our local paper have pictures - I usually look at the age they died, and then if the cause is listed. I'm not sure why I do it, but I do ...

  8. Aria said...

    My mom is a total Obit junkie. Every single solitary day... I once asked her why, and she told me that she wants to make sure she's not listed before she starts her day. See, I'm the sane one.

  9. Sandi said...

    I am so happy to hear that I am not the only freak out there. I have my whole damn funeral planned.

    If Brandon is ten minutes late, I go through the entire saga in my mind for him, the cops will ring the bell, I will collapse on the floor, I hope the kids will call somebody that is qualified to help us. I will not call his family right away, because they are strange and don't really love him like they should, so I will punish them by not calling them right away.

    I just read what I wrote, I am freakier than I thought, I may call a professional!

    Anyway, I too am an obit reader. I feel the same way. I always want the back story. Why don't people tell us what really happened I often have to wonder and make up my own morbid story.

    I hope in my obit, they just tell it like it is, She was a high maintenance pain the ass, we were slightly relieved when she didn't come that night, now we can live without all the drama. oh and at the scene, she was pretty mangled, hence the closed casket!

  10. Quirkyloon said...

    Actually when the person is young I wish they would tell how they died. I don't mean lots of detail, but you know.."a battle with lung cancer" etc.

    As for a funeral song? I want that happy song from awhile ago from a commercial for Six Flags..you know with that weird looking dude?

    I want people laughing...not crying!

  11. Krystyn said...

    Some of these things I wonder about. Others, I try not to think about.

    But, I've know people who write their own obits. We were supposed to do it in Sunday School recently. I refused.

    Give it a try. It's pretty hard.

  12. kel said...

    I have a weird fascination with the obits too.. I don't know why. I just hope that my obit says that I lived a happy life and that I will be missed... by my husband who is not allowed to remarry or I will haunt him forever.

  13. Dan said...

    I confess to reading the obits. But mainly to make sure I am not listed there. {*grin*}

    Knowing that the local papers keep obits on file for the "community leaders" has always made me think about asking to see what they would print if I were to die right now. Given the number of errors in their day to day reportage, I suspect that apoplexy from the errors in my obit would make it a new insert for that days paper.

    I also suspect they actually have two versions - the "slow news day when we have a lot of free space" version and the abbreviated version for normal times.

  14. Annie said...

    I don't read them,but I've written two. Not fun!

  15. HappyHourSue said...

    I just know I'll be looking down from heaven at the memorial service going "I can't BELIEVE he chose THAT photo!!!!! I look so fat in that one!!!!!"

  16. Jo-Jo said...

    We should live our lives like we want our Obit to read. Sounds like a Writers Prompt to me.

  17. Average Girl In Average World said...

    Well I guess I am creppy too. I check them everyday to make sure i am not listed..hahahah. Seriously I do read them.

    A preacher once said "Life your life so I (the precher) will not have to lie at your service".

    Wonderful advice.

  18. Elaine said...

    Cracking up... You are not the only one, and I'm not lying.

  19. ParentingPink said...

    I too will occasionally (everyday) peruse the obits. You are right, there is just something oddly fascinating about them - no way around it. So, do not fear - you are not the only 'creepy mommy blogger' out there! LOL

  20. Jenni Jiggety said...

    I read them, too. 10 years ago I read the wedding anouncements to see if there was anyone I knew...and now I read the obits for the same reason. :-X

  21. April said...

    My Mom does home health PT and so 90% of her patients are very old. The always checks the obits on Sunday to see if she lost a patient because they obviously don't think to call her (the family) and she feels horrible showing up when she shouldn't. I'm like you, I check them to see if I knew someone or someone related. I live in a tiny town so I usually do.

  22. won said...

    For me, the question is more one of what will be said about "The Dash", you know, that little thing in between the two years (i.e. 1945-2009) than the end.

    How are you living your dash? That feels more pertinent.

  23. Angela said...

    Nope not alone. I do that everyday with several of our local area newspapers that are online. Of course, I will blame it on my obsession with genealogy and history. It is fascinating to learn about other people and what they have accomplished in their lifetime.

  24. therextras said...

    Cross my heart and hope to die, I am not lying. You are not the only one. I scan all names as this is my hometown. Read more depending on the photo and I also hope to see the cause of death and look at the donations for an indicator of what they valued. But this is just between us, right?

  25. jill jill bo bill said...

    I have thought about planning mine just because I have to always be in charge, but I don't want to jinx anything. I read the obits too. WTH is up with people who put ads on the obit page saying "We miss you" with the deceased person's pix and dates. Like they read it in there...

  26. lizspin said...

    Since I am "in the business" so-to-speak (funerals, that is, one of the most incredible aspects of my job is helping families to plan the funeral of their loved ones) I have developed my own personal credo.

    I live my life thinking: What will they say in my eulogy???

    When you think about it, it's not a bad way to live. . .

  27. Leslie said...

    Thanks for putting the "when I die" thoughts in my head.....freak ;)

  28. Mel Fraase said...

    Okay Okay I admit it, I head straight there, too! AND I critique the photos. THere. I said it.

  29. April said...

    I never read the obits, but my sister and mother must! I guess now I know why....they are freaks!

  30. Lori said...

    I always read the obits in our local paper. Too many times I've come across the obit of someone I once knew. The worst was having to write my father-in-law's obit and then seeing it in the paper. Something about seeing hubby's, mine and Bug's name in the obit as the survivors really got to me.

  31. Erin said...

    You aren't the only one reading Obits. I enjoy reading them too. Like you, I am fascinated by what kind of life these people led, how they died, and how they are remembered. I have given very little thought into how I'll be eulogized myself though. I hope it'll say that I loved my family and they loved me too. I hope it will mention that I was a good friend, a hard worker, and that I'll be missed. If they were going to use a photo, I'd like it to be one where I am thin and young and beautiful. The song I'd liked played was picked out a million years ago. AT the beginning I want "In the arms of the angels" and at the end "I will remember you." both by Sarah McLachlan.

    I believe you'd be remembered as someone who was incredibly witty, smart, and a terrific and loving mom. It is strange to think of how we'll be remembered isn't it?

  32. Ali said...

    I like looking at the obits too. I'm always curious how they died and the place were donations can be sent is usually a good clue. And then there's the standard fill in the blank write ups and then there's the paid obits. It always makes me wonder if the family didn't have much to say or if they didn't have the money or if it was just the least of their worries. Interesting.

  33. Heather of the EO said...

    Yes I do this too. (right down to the hating the paper being strewn about the house and then scanning the front page and then settling on the obits here and there.)

    Now I'm going to be planning my funeral all day. I've thought about the song part and couldn't decide. I would want my person Kate to speak since she and I are the same person so she'd know what I would want said and how. sigh...now I'm sad.

  34. Mrs4444 said...

    I used to do the same thing, until I had a rash of funerals. Now, I avoid the obits, I guess maybe because I don't want to go to another funeral? I have my music all picked out, and it's on a file on this computer, entitled "Stuff You'll Need in Case I Croak." I created it after Mark's dad died suddenly and we had to plan the whole thing with nothing to go on. "Go Light Your World" is on my list of songs.

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