Author Topic: Nasty Obituary  (Read 15217 times)

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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #75 on: September 11, 2013, 08:32:25 AM »
Orson Scott Card said the same sort of thing in the novel Speaker of the Dead, where there was a religion of people who would go to funerals and speak the truth, unadorned and not vindictive. I rather like that idea, remembered as a human being with faults rather than some sort of dearly departed paragon.

Psychopoesie

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #76 on: September 11, 2013, 08:56:41 AM »
Orson Scott Card said the same sort of thing in the novel Speaker of the Dead, where there was a religion of people who would go to funerals and speak the truth, unadorned and not vindictive. I rather like that idea, remembered as a human being with faults rather than some sort of dearly departed paragon.

Slightly OT but I do love that book.  :)

*inviteseller

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #77 on: September 11, 2013, 09:12:55 AM »
I think it is wrong to submit a nasty obituary because for as much as you (general) hated the person, there has to be someone who loves him/her.  That being said..I would have looooved to be the one to write the ex husbands obituary.  Of course his mother did it and made him sound so beloved, so great.  He was a drug addict, thief, user, and abuser.  He treated his child like an after thought  who should be at his beck and call when he wanted to drunkenly whine about how hard his life was.  I have always found something to remember any person by who has passed, even if I didn't have the best relationship..with him, I wanted to dance.  I cried for about 2 minutes when I was told simply for my DD who wanted her dad to be a dad and now she would never have it.  At his funeral, I was not given any condolences, simply because everyone knew how we felt for each other (the hatred was mutual) but I made sure to give my condolences as I knew these people were hurting, I just refused to involve myself in any conversations about what a wonderful person he was.

TurtleDove

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #78 on: September 11, 2013, 09:22:00 AM »
I think it's best to be honest, which in etiquette terms might mean saying nothing at all, or saying the truth with compassion. For example, when people ask about my sister who died 7 years ago at age 29 I am honest with them: she was a beautiful and talented person who was also a drug addict and her poor choices led to her death. Same for my husband, who killed himself two years ago at age 28: he was a wonderful human being who also suffered from severe mental illness that caused him to be irrational and abusive and ultimately to take his own life. Why pretend otherwise? The truth isn't rude. What's rude is being vengeful or nasty in the telling of the truth.

hjaye

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #79 on: September 11, 2013, 09:24:37 AM »
I wouldn't think that if he was a complete and total S.O.B. people would be willing to spend a dime trying to make a dead man look good. I don't know though.


You might be surprised. My mother's friend separated frmo her husband, although they continued to live in the same house because neither wanted to move out. They divided the house in half, two fridges, separate toilet paper even (that always cracks me up) and she used to tell Mum how much she hated him all the time. Until he died, at which point he was apparently sainted by proxy and she is saving up $10,000 for a headstone for him and tells everyone how much she loved him.

People do a lot of revisionist history after someone dies, for a variety of reasons. I have a family member who was the third wife to a man who left her abruptly after 20 years of marriage. Apparently, they patched up some sort of "friendship" a few years later. When he died five years after, she wrote a detailed eulogy, leaving out his previous two marriages and children, saying that she was "the love of his life" and including a paragraph about their "best friendship." I'm sure it made her feel better after the fact to think that they had some sort of beautiful love story to remember, but everyone else knew it was b.s.  And really, since funerals and all that go with it are meant to be "for the ones left behind," I was okay with it, until another family member pointed out that obits are often used as ways to trace and verify information, and for her to leave out her ex's children was a potential historical problem. So maybe having the formulaic obituary has more merit than we thought.

This is similar to what my mom has done in regards to my step-dad.  He really wasn’t a bad man, he had mental issues that made him very difficult to live with.  He was very smart, he was not abusive, but he drove my mom crazy.

They were married for over forty years, I can’t remember how many times I heard my mom say how he drove her crazy, how unhappy she was, how she was going to leave him, and she couldn’t stand it anymore. 

Now that he’s gone………. He was so good to her, he respected her, and he made her feel smart…….

Truthfully though……. It’s not hurting anyone, he wasn’t a bad person, and it makes my mom feel good to remember him this way.  I’m not going to remind her how unhappy she was.  If it makes her feel better to look at their years together through rose colored glasses, I’ve got no problem with that.

daisy1679

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #80 on: September 11, 2013, 09:38:08 AM »
I worked at several different newspapers, and all obituaries absolutely, positively had to come from a funeral home. That was to prevent people from submitting fake obits for people who hadn't really died, as a scam or a joke.

I did not know that! The newspaper I worked for was an itty bitty one in a very rural area (3 people in the classified dept, total) and it was common for ranchers and farmers to have their own little family cemeteries on their land. A lot of people didn't go through funeral homes, they'd build simple coffins, dig the grave, and hold the funeral in the front room. Hence we received a lot of obits from the families themselves. I don't recall anyone ever trying a joke obit on us, however.
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This would depend on the paper. The one I worked at accepted notices from private parties, but we did require verification of death (there are only two cases I know of where the paper made an exception for that, and both times they had very good reasons and the publisher made the decision). I never had a nasty obit like this one submitted, but I did print two different obits for the same man - one from his wife that came through the funeral home and one his sister submitted (they did not print on the same day). The wife's notice did not mention the sister, and the sister's did not mention the wife, but did mention his girlfriend. I have often wondered how that funeral went...

Vall

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #81 on: September 11, 2013, 10:30:10 AM »
I think bashing a recently deceased person is just out of line, unless they were a really prominent public figure (and even then readers have the right to find it distasteful). I think it is horrible to post it in an obit or memorial page. It is fine to hate the person, even bring it up in conversation. Making public posts blasting them seems out of line to me though.

You don't need to be positive, just not seriously negative and insulting. There are a lot of ways to express condolences without praising the person, like "I hope they have found peace."

Maybe I am wrong and it isn't rude, but it just seems like something that Just Isn't Done.
This is how I see it too.  There is a difference between talking privately to someone about your hatred and publishing it for everyone to see right after the person has died when there are others who are grieving.

When I read the distasteful obit, I actually felt more repulsion for the writer than the subject they were writing about.  Maybe what they wrote was true and may it wasn't but their festering hatred is quite clear.

scotcat60

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #82 on: September 11, 2013, 10:40:58 AM »
There are certain phrases in obituaries whichare said to have hidden meanings

"He did not suffer fools gladly" (He thought everyone but he was a fool)
"He never married" (He was g*y)

Alas, it happens that one persons view of another can vary widely, but usually the bad is kept to oneself. However, perhaps the writers of the obituary quoted had been pushed too far by all those who remembered the departed as some sort of saint, and decided to make their feelings public.

TurtleDove

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #83 on: September 11, 2013, 10:47:38 AM »
However, perhaps the writers of the obituary quoted had been pushed too far by all those who remembered the departed as some sort of saint, and decided to make their feelings public.

While I would not write a nasty obituary like the one in the OP, I strongly disapprove of rewriting history to make deceased people out to be perfect saints who never did anything wrong.  I actually think it dishonors the living who were hurt by the deceased to do so.

Goosey

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #84 on: September 11, 2013, 12:01:47 PM »
I think it's wrong to tell others how to mourn, to a point. If they want to remember the good times they had with the departed, that's not going to hurt anyone and it will give them comfort. That is probably how they really saw them in life, too. A lot of people will overlook the flaws in loved ones and focus on the good. How one person views another is extremely personal and to tell a person "No, you're wrong, he was evil" is not going to any good when that person is no longer on this earth to demonstrate the opinion.

I would not have put that obituary in public. But, if people asked, I would be honest.

turnip

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #85 on: September 11, 2013, 01:18:47 PM »
I'm actually quite shocked that most of us are viewing this favorably!    How on earth do we know that the nasty allegations about the deceased are accurate.  For everyone saying "my relative was horrible and deserved to be remembered unfavorably" - well what do you thing they would write about _you_ if you died first?

It just seems so obvious that this could be used by abusers to make a final attack on the people they've abused, rather than by the abused to expose their abusers.  I don't understand how anyone could support that.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 03:06:00 PM by turnip »

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #86 on: September 11, 2013, 03:10:55 PM »
While I think this obituary was a bit over the top (or under the bottom if you feel that's more appropriate)...

When I attended my own biological father's funeral after reading his obituary in the paper; that omitted both my brother and I ... his current wife (#4) told me how much he loved her and that he told her that "he loved her more than anything in the world". 

My comment, "you mean more than himself, impossible!"   Which I consider rude behavior on my part but didn't really know how else to respond.  He never paid a dime of child support to either of the mothers of his children - NEVER. 

He had stiffed his own mother out of the money she cosigned for on a loan for him.  He lived in one of  her rental properties rent free for years and refused to make any repairs or assist in repairing any of her rental properties.  While he held a degree in family counseling/therapy he refused to help my younger brother during his hard times or refer him to another therapist.  He did not attend his own mother's funeral - even though he lived in the same town.

I never received a note or card for any birthday, graduation or my wedding.  He did not even know the names of his grandchildren a few months before his death (ran into him at another funeral). 

A few kind words, how about: thank goodness he's gone. 

     

heartmug

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #87 on: September 11, 2013, 03:37:53 PM »
I do think some of the 'don't speak ill of the dead' goes back to 'or anyone else who isn't present to defend his/her self'.

I could write a truly nasty Obit about a few people in my life.  They'd deserve it.  But they also have their reasons and their defenses which, while I don't agree with, are theirs to present in their own defense.  Except, when they're dead, that nice 'other side' they have won't ever be told.

That is how I see it.  They are no longer here to defend themselves.

You don't have to say anything at all, but when I die I hope my kids and whomever else I am related to remember the good and forgive me for the bad because I am not perfect.  And since I want it that way, I do it that way for others.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #88 on: September 11, 2013, 03:43:38 PM »
If I were ever in the position to write an obituary that I wanted to be nasty, I think I would stick to just the facts and not put in any detail.

Something like this:

Joe Smith, husband to Mary, stepfather to Monica and Oscar, estranged father to James (Susan) and Lisa (George) from his previous marriage to Marlene (nee Jones).  Estranged grandfather to Neil, Rebecca, Nancy and Steven.  Died Sunday after a long illness.

And be done with it.  People will read between the lines and know he wasn't well loved.
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gramma dishes

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Re: Nasty Obituary
« Reply #89 on: September 11, 2013, 04:11:49 PM »
If I were ever in the position to write an obituary that I wanted to be nasty, I think I would stick to just the facts and not put in any detail.

Something like this:

Joe Smith, husband to Mary, stepfather to Monica and Oscar, estranged father to James (Susan) and Lisa (George) from his previous marriage to Marlene (nee Jones).  Estranged grandfather to Neil, Rebecca, Nancy and Steven.  Died Sunday after a long illness.

And be done with it.  People will read between the lines and know he wasn't well loved.

 ;D  Yes, the word 'estranged' kind of clarifies things without additional details.  Especially when it's repeated.