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Old July 8 2014, 02:01 AM   #1
Gil T.Azell
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Honest Obituary??

This appeared in Yesterdays Paper (June 6/14)
George Ferguson

Its making the rounds on Yahoo news.
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Old July 8 2014, 02:47 AM   #2
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Honest Obituary??

It sounds like the people who will miss him will have appreciated that. Aside from that, I have no real thoughts. I'm not convinced obituaries are for honesty, but they're also not for the dead. They're for those whose lives they touched (for the better). This sounds appropriate for them.
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Old July 8 2014, 10:23 AM   #3
Rhubarbodendron
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Re: Honest Obituary??

I'm all for honesty. If someone was a complete asshole one should be allowed to say so. A lie isn't good for the deceased nor for the survivers. This orbituary, I think, is pretty well balanced. It gives you the good and bad sides of the person, just as his life did. I'd like to see more of these around. It might perhaps make people start to think about the way they are being seen by others.
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Old July 8 2014, 11:19 AM   #4
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Re: Honest Obituary??

I disagree with that. A lie is neither good nor bad for the deceased (it's simply irrelevant), but it can be quite good for the survivors who are looking for closure and appropriate sentimentality, not truth or fiction.
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Old July 8 2014, 03:14 PM   #5
Rhubarbodendron
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Re: Honest Obituary??

Personally, I prefer brutal honesty over white lies (which statistically goes for most of my countrymen and -women from what I've been told).

Could we perhaps agree on the phrasing "some people might find a somewhat sugarcoated orbituary more consolating whereas others prefer an honest though unflattering one" ?
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Old July 8 2014, 07:21 PM   #6
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Re: Honest Obituary??

One of the hardest funerals I ever had to conduct was that of a woman no-one had a good word to say about. Her family were clearly upset at her death, grieving and tearful at their loss. But when asked who she was and what they would miss about her, they couldn't actually find anything pleasant to tell me at all.

Trying to write a 'eulogy' was a real nightmare, but the family needed something that would acknowledge their loss without sugar coating her personality. I recall saying something about her being honest to a fault, speaking her mind and telling people her opinion even when she risked becoming unpopular (for which read she had an acid tongue).

There's something very human in the concept of 'don't speak ill of the dead' - both in a human need to remember the good about people and in some sort of superstitious fear of angering the dead by bad-mouthing them.
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Old July 8 2014, 07:45 PM   #7
Jedi_Master
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Re: Honest Obituary??

RevdKathy wrote: View Post
One of the hardest funerals I ever had to conduct was that of a woman no-one had a good word to say about. Her family were clearly upset at her death, grieving and tearful at their loss. But when asked who she was and what they would miss about her, they couldn't actually find anything pleasant to tell me at all.

Trying to write a 'eulogy' was a real nightmare, but the family needed something that would acknowledge their loss without sugar coating her personality. I recall saying something about her being honest to a fault, speaking her mind and telling people her opinion even when she risked becoming unpopular (for which read she had an acid tongue).

There's something very human in the concept of 'don't speak ill of the dead' - both in a human need to remember the good about people and in some sort of superstitious fear of angering the dead by bad-mouthing them.
It seems that most people realize that death wipes the slate clean in a sense. Even a horrible person no longer can harm anyone, and your words will not improve or worsen their condition.

There is some danger of course in taking this idea too far. Some individuals are not worthy of even the faintest praise after death, but the vast majority of people have something that can be said about them in a positive or at least neutral way.
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Old Yesterday, 08:49 AM   #8
Rhubarbodendron
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Re: Honest Obituary??

I totally agree. Got to admit though that in one case I went to a funeral only to be certain the person was really dead (as did propably 95% of those attending the funeral). That was an old woman who was utterly mean, terrorized the whole neighbourhood and bullied her sweet and gentle elder sister so badly that the poor old lady often was in tears. With the death of her younger sister she had at least a few nice and peaceful years left to enjoy.

In that particular case the priest had the very same prob as you, Kathy. So he didn't write an eulogy at all but just gave the naked dates of her birth, origin, job life and death and added a few prayers.

btw, - very off-topic - in my area it's custom that at a funeral the priest adds a prayer for the next person to die. Is that done in other countries as well? I'm not a religious person but I think it's a nice gesture, though a tiny bit creepy.
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