Author Topic: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?  (Read 4676 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2014, 10:13:21 AM »
Even if they are estranged, it comes off as somewhat petty to me. 

I don't disagree, but we don't know the "whys" behind it all.  It could be the deceased himself asked that his bio children not be mentioned by name.  Or the bio children asked that they not be mentioned by name. 

TootsNYC

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2014, 10:57:17 AM »
I think it could be bad form, but I do think that circumstances matter.  People who knew the deceased would know that his bio kids were important to him and close with him, if they were.  People who knew the deceased would know that his current wife has issues with his bio kids, if she does.  The bio kids know they are children of their father, and if their stepmom deliberately slighted them, they have learned something about her.  Or maybe they have had nothing to do with their father for 30 years and are not affected by the wording of the obituary at all, while the stepkids have been extremely close with the deceased their entire lives.  Any of these scenarios, plus myriad others, could be true and I generally think it is none of my business and pointless to speculate - either I was close enough to the deceased to know what is going on, or I wasn't and it doesn't matter aside from gossipy prurient interest.

The obituary is not for the people close to the deceased. It's to notify the greater world of the passing of a human being. And who he was connected to is the point of an obituary, so that people who see it will realize their neighbor, colleague, former classmate, etc., has lost a family member.

I really deplore the fact that obituaries are not anymore treated like news and instead are essentially advertisements.

TurtleDove

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2014, 11:04:35 AM »
The obituary is not for the people close to the deceased. It's to notify the greater world of the passing of a human being. And who he was connected to is the point of an obituary, so that people who see it will realize their neighbor, colleague, former classmate, etc., has lost a family member.

I really deplore the fact that obituaries are not anymore treated like news and instead are essentially advertisements.

My perspective is that the obituary *did* notify the greater world of the passing of a human being.  Either people knew the deceased and/or his relatives, in which case the obituary wouldn't change their opinion of him, or people did not know the deceased, in which case it seems gossipy and rude to speculate on the relationships between and among people you (general) don't know.

In my experience, an obituary may be shared publicly (like on facebook) to provide funeral details, but generally someone(s) close to the deceased shares the news of the passing with people they would like support from, and those people pass on the information in whatever circles are appropriate.  I have never trolled obituaries looking to see if anyone I know is listed so I can offer condolences.  I don't know of anyone who does!

TootsNYC

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2014, 11:09:34 AM »
But I may be close enough to one of the kids that I'd like the opportunity to give my condolences, and yet still not close enough to be in immediate contact with them.

And I can easily still not know their father's name.

To me it's just a matter of completeness, not even of "ooh, he was estranged from his kids." It's bad form to leave out names of a person's direct children in this situation. Grandkids, sure, but names of first-degree relatives should be given.

TurtleDove

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2014, 11:16:12 AM »
But I may be close enough to one of the kids that I'd like the opportunity to give my condolences, and yet still not close enough to be in immediate contact with them.

And I can easily still not know their father's name.

To me it's just a matter of completeness, not even of "ooh, he was estranged from his kids." It's bad form to leave out names of a person's direct children in this situation. Grandkids, sure, but names of first-degree relatives should be given.

I don't disagree that it could be bad form to leave out the names.  I just tend to hear of someone's passing, whether it is "Sam Smith" or "Kelly's dad" or "Sue's brother" in the natural course of events - a direct phone call if I was close to the decedent or his family, an announcement at work if it is coworked or colleague related, an announcement to a facebook group for my gym or high school or college, or something similar.  I have never learned of someone I was close to or even knew tangentially via coming across an obituary in the newspaper.  I would think that would be a highly inefficient and morbid way to go about things!

Yvaine

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2014, 11:47:27 AM »
But I may be close enough to one of the kids that I'd like the opportunity to give my condolences, and yet still not close enough to be in immediate contact with them.

And I can easily still not know their father's name.

To me it's just a matter of completeness, not even of "ooh, he was estranged from his kids." It's bad form to leave out names of a person's direct children in this situation. Grandkids, sure, but names of first-degree relatives should be given.

I don't disagree that it could be bad form to leave out the names.  I just tend to hear of someone's passing, whether it is "Sam Smith" or "Kelly's dad" or "Sue's brother" in the natural course of events - a direct phone call if I was close to the decedent or his family, an announcement at work if it is coworked or colleague related, an announcement to a facebook group for my gym or high school or college, or something similar.  I have never learned of someone I was close to or even knew tangentially via coming across an obituary in the newspaper.  I would think that would be a highly inefficient and morbid way to go about things!

It's morbid to read the obituaries and come across a name you know? I mean, I don't specifically seek out the obituaries and read them to the exclusion of the rest of the paper, but I don't necessarily skip them either. (Depends on how big a city's paper I'm reading, really. I just do a quick skim when I read BigCity's paper, because there are hundreds there, while I might read more thoroughly if I'm reading Small Hometown's paper. And yes, I have learned of people's deaths that way--not close friends, obviously, but people like old teachers and the like. We haven't remained in touch but I'm still glad to know (even as it's also sad news).

I think I get what Toots is saying about it being a record. When I think of all the people who came in when I worked at a library, looking at old obits because they were doing genealogical research--an ad like this could dead-end some descendant doing her research 100 years from now.

TootsNYC

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2014, 12:06:17 PM »
I don't generally read the obits. But every single time I have idly done so, I found the obit for a family member of someone I knew. Someone for whom my connection was such that I wouldn't necessarily have heard about the death until quite a bit later, if at all.

heartmug

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2014, 12:40:59 PM »
She may have also been assuming/known the bio-children would prepare their own obit.

That is what I was thinking.  They may have even told her that.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2014, 12:53:58 PM »
She may have also been assuming/known the bio-children would prepare their own obit.

That is what I was thinking.  They may have even told her that.

See, this is what I object to--why would there be more than one obit? It's just not logical. One person died, one obit. Not different versions. It's just not logical.

I know that's not how it is (anymore), now that people pay for them instead of newspapers regarding them as news. But it's not logical.

Twik

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2014, 02:53:55 PM »
It is certainly odd and fuel for gossip.    I can't think of any reason they would do that if not to indicate some form of estrangement, either way it's certainly a public hint at dirty laundry.    As you say, nobody's business but theirs, but certainly eyebrow raising.

Yes. It could have been done by a distraught widow by mistake, but it's bound to cause talk, about who has cut who. Certainly, it should not have been done deliberately except in the direst circumstances.
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Mikayla

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2014, 03:25:06 PM »
I think it's guaranteed to draw attention and some second guessing.  If that's the intent, fine, but I'm having trouble coming up with a reasonable justification for wanting this, or even a reasonable assumption that the deceased would have wanted it.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2014, 03:40:29 PM »
My mother and her brother were left out of their father's obituary also - but his third child (a daughter with his second wife) and her children were mentioned.  My mother went to the newspaper and demanded a corrected obituary be printed in the following day's paper.  It was.

By the way, I'm still waiting on my share of the estate that is still not settled...he died in 1982.  I signed new documents in December 2013 to try and settle it.  His estate was tiny but his other daughter has done everything she legally can to delay having to share ANY of it.  Both my mother and her brother have since died - daughter #3 managed to outlive both of his other children.

I think I have mentioned this in a previous thread somewhere also - my grandfather's children and his grandchildren were never allowed to come to his home.  His second wife would not "allow" it, we saw him at a motel room we rented or at a pharmacy fountain where he worked.  Years after his death I was invited to her home.  I have always sworn it was because she was suddenly trying to get into heaven... 

       

 

turnip

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2014, 04:18:14 PM »
I'll say frankly that I think all this speculation is what is rude.  I struggle to think of anything that is _less_ my business that what a grieving widow chooses to put in an obituary.   The fact that this has led to gossip makes the gossipers rude (IMHO), not the bereaved.

TurtleDove

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2014, 04:23:28 PM »
I'll say frankly that I think all this speculation is what is rude.  I struggle to think of anything that is _less_ my business that what a grieving widow chooses to put in an obituary.   The fact that this has led to gossip makes the gossipers rude (IMHO), not the bereaved.

Yes, this exactly.  You said it better than I was trying to.

TootsNYC

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Re: Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2014, 04:50:16 PM »
I'll say frankly that I think all this speculation is what is rude.  I struggle to think of anything that is _less_ my business that what a grieving widow chooses to put in an obituary.   The fact that this has led to gossip makes the gossipers rude (IMHO), not the bereaved.

Nobody's gossiping; I don't consider the discussion we are having here to be gossip, and the OP isn't gossiping.