General Etiquette > Family and Children

Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?

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kareng57:

--- Quote from: TootsNYC 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.

--- End quote ---


I disagree. My late Dh's brother cut ties with us a number of years prior to Dh's death.  There was therefore no reason to mention him in the obiturary.  If someone declares that he/she is no longer family - that's their choice.

MariaE:

--- Quote from: TurtleDove on April 28, 2014, 11:16:12 AM ---
--- Quote from: TootsNYC 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.

--- End quote ---

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!

--- End quote ---

Morbid or not, that was how my in-laws discovered that my grandmother died - because the death notice listed names of children and grandchildren. I hadn't thought to tell them myself yet, but I was extremely touched by the letter of condolence they sent me - in fact especially because I hadn't gotten around to telling them yet, but they'd discovered it themselves and thought of me.

Ceallach:

--- Quote from: turnip on April 28, 2014, 05:12:06 PM ---
To clarify on the gossip, I was referring to this statement....


--- Quote from: Ceallach on April 28, 2014, 03:58:35 AM ---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.

--- End quote ---

'fuel for gossip' is not the same as 'rude'.   I think this is no one's business besides the families and if a friend came to me and said "Can you believe so-and-so wasn't mentioned in the obit" I'd bean dip my way out of there.   It just seems so deliberately unkind to turn this in to an excuse for digging and speculation.

--- End quote ---

Well I don't know if it's actually lead to gossip or not having absolutely no information other than the OP, but if it's a community inclined towards gossip (which many are) it certainly provides fuel for it.   My point was simply that if there is some sort of estrangement they're not making any effort to hide it. 

baglady:
I can think of lots of reasons why the bio-offspring would not be named in an obit, and only one of them is spite toward them on the widow(er)'s part.

It could be that the deceased himself, or the bio-offspring themselves, didn't want the names mentioned. This could be either because of a nasty, acrimonious estrangement, or a case of the bio-parent graciously stepping aside to let ex's new spouse raise the kids as mom/dad -- with or without legally terminating parental rights.

Or it could be the widow(er) tailoring the obit to the local paper's readership -- who don't have any connection to the deceased's bio-kids, so their names aren't relevant.

I worked at small-town newspapers in the 1980s/early '90s, and we ran obituaries-as-news-stories on everyone local who died, unlike big-city papers who only ran them on prominent people. But because they were free, they were very formulaic: Only immediate family members got named. So if you were the longtime live-in lover of the deceased, or the grandniece who lived with him and cared for him in his last years, you would not be mentioned by name in the obit.

These days, those same papers charge for obits, but people can write whatever they want, and name (or not name) whomever they want. I like that better, even if (a) it costs money, and (b) some people might get slighted by the family members writing the obit. People got slighted back in the days of free obits -- it was just the paper's call back then, and not the family's.

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