Do you read the obituaries?

I am a dedicated obituary reader. One of my favorite parts of the newspaper. The Times of course has really great obituaries, whether it’s one of the featured ones or the ones submitted by families and friends.

You get to meet the most interesting people. All too often I think to myself “Why have I never heard of this person before?” Scientists, writers, adventurers and sometimes just ordinary folk who did one amazing thing in their life and then faded quietly away.

But even the obituaries submitted by the families can be so charming. Of course everyone is “beloved”. I guess if you’re not, beloved I mean, then no one is gonna pay big bucks to mark your passing. But wouldn’t that be fun? A negative obituary. Just once I would like to see that.

Also on the perverse side, my brother and I have guiltily admitted to each other that we periodically check the obituaries to see if our mother has died yet. I’m sure our elder male sibling will leave a message on one of our answering machines, probably my brothers because elder male sibling doesn’t have my phone number (lord, I hope he doesn’t). Years ago my brother and I had said we would attend her funeral just to make sure she was really dead but I’m passed that now. It seems kinda mean. I didn’t care to see her when she was alive, sure don’t want to see her when she’s dead. And besides there might be people who would be offended if we showed up and I am long passed wanting to offend any of that group.

Still, I do find obituaries interesting reading, and you?

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