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Old 03-11-2013, 03:45 PM
 
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A young (early 20's) relative died a while back and I was wondering how far afield notifications should go. He wasn't living in his hometown, so former neighbors, babysitters, etc, would not have seen his obituary. He has a memorial FaceBook page, but I don't know how many of the "older generation" will see that.

It seems that the people who knew and loved him should be told of his death, but calling/writing someone out of the blue with that kind of news feels ... I don't know ... intrusive?

Any thoughts on this?

(Mods please feel free to move this to a more appropriate forum as you see fit.)
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:11 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 65,253,264 times
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My feeling is that most of us don't read obits, anyway. So if we are not connected to others who know the person who died, we often don't find out about it until we ask someone "how is John doing these days?"

Finding out someone is deceased is typically an organic sort of thing. Folks that were not close enough to stay in touch will eventually find out . . . it just works out that way. You may be surprised how many people DO know about his death. Word travels so fast these days.

Are you basically concerned that people who would have wanted to express their condolences to his family won't know to do so in a timely fashion?

I think it would come off as tasteless somehow. Maybe that is not the right word. Awkward, maybe? I think the recipient, who may really have known about their former friend's passing, would think - oh my. Why did I receive this? Does someone think I needed to be reminded b/c I didn't call his parents or attend the funeral or send a card? And if they didn't know, they would be scratching their heads thinking - we weren't that close 10 years ago - and haven't seen him since he graduated . . . why would I be receiving this weeks after his funeral?

I don't know -- everyone responds differently. I guess I just haven't seen it done and can imagine that there are reasons why . . . I wouldn't do it b/c it would just feel awkward.

I also wanted to acknowledge how kind it is of you to be thinking about others who admired your relative and who may well not be informed about his death. I cannot imagine a more difficult journey to go through in life than losing a child, nephew, grandchild prematurely. I hope all of his family will find some way to deal with losing him. I don't know how anyone does it . . .
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:29 PM
 
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I think "awkward" is a good word.

"Hi -- long time no see! How are you doing? And by the way, so-and-so died."

Ugh.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:47 PM
 
Location: State of Being
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark of the Moon View Post
I think "awkward" is a good word.

"Hi -- long time no see! How are you doing? And by the way, so-and-so died."

Ugh.
Yes, that is pretty much how it goes.

This past year, a young man who attended my son's (and his fiancee's) high school was killed in an accident. Everyone knew him b/c it is a small town. I didn't know the young man (he was not in my son's class) but I did know the family. However, we moved away years ago and I had never been close to his parents - just "knew of them" from mutual acquaintances.

There were texts being received by both my son and his fiancee - the news traveled quickly, even tho none of my son's mutual friends were even close to the deceased. However, the fact that he was so young (under 30) -- it was so shocking and people were very sad to hear it.

However, when I asked -- are you going to his funeral or to the wake? Are any of your friends going? -- son said well, no. It is not like we were close or anything. I would feel like a drama junkie - just trying to look like I was closer to John than I was. His parents don't even really know me.

This is what his fiancee said, too.

And I did not send a card -- even though I knew the parents in the sense of recognizing them if we all ended up standing in a line somewhere or going out to eat and walking past them seated at a table, it seemed intrusive or somehow - disingenuous - for me to write and say - Gosh, we never knew each other and your son except to say HELLO, but I am so sorry to hear of his passing.

Maybe I should have written something . . . b/c it did break my heart for the parents - just knowing the anguish and pain they doubtless are feeling and will always feel. But I just felt like doing so would have been inappropriate, as if I were trying to access some connection with them that I never really had -- and pop into their lives when there is a tragedy.

I don't know if that even makes sense . . . but it is my feeble attempt at explaining what you may want to pass on to the grieving family who may have wondered - did no one notice my son/grandchild/nephew died?

I just suspect everyone in the area is fully aware of your relative's death but they simply don't know how to acknowledge his passing.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:56 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,432 posts, read 18,144,759 times
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I think is alright to "intrude" into the parents' lives by sending a sympathy card. So what if you were not close? You did "know" these people at some point in your life and I think it's a nice gesture to reach out to these people in their time of grief.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:03 PM
 
Location: State of Being
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamiznluv View Post
I think is alright to "intrude" into the parents' lives by sending a sympathy card. So what if you were not close? You did "know" these people at some point in your life and I think it's a nice gesture to reach out to these people in their time of grief.
I really appreciate your saying that. Not wanting to get off topic from what the OP originally asked (re: death notices) . . . but this thread has made me think that it might be meaningful to someone to get a card from folks they didn't really know that well . . . it does make one realize that people can care and share the sadness even if they were not close friends. Thank you for pointing that out, Tami!
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark of the Moon View Post
I think "awkward" is a good word.

"Hi -- long time no see! How are you doing? And by the way, so-and-so died."

Ugh.

I got an email like that. I had an aquaintance that was really into racetracks/events. I emailed to share a story about a track event I participated in and his wife sent me the dreaded email that he died the week before. She did apologized about the email but figured it would be the easiest way for her to relay the message. I thought it was ok, fits the current technology I guess.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark of the Moon View Post
... He wasn't living in his hometown, so former neighbors, babysitters, etc, would not have seen his obituary....
It's probably not your place to do it, but his obit should have been placed in his hometown newspaper. And it's also probably not too late.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:34 AM
 
Location: State of Being
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Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
It's probably not your place to do it, but his obit should have been placed in his hometown newspaper. And it's also probably not too late.
I have noticed that folks sometimes put a notice in local papers a year after someone's death. I would not personally want to do that, but I have seen it done . . . more like a memorial saying something about the loved one dying a year earlier and having a short bio about the deceased, such as - what he/she enjoyed doing, hobbies, life's work, organizations they were involved in and usually saying something about how much the person is missed. I am a former newspaper editor so yes, I have had these types of memorial notices put on my desk and our paper did run them.

WyoNewk is right -- I don't think it would be too late to run an obit or memorial type notice, but as I said earlier, it has been my experience that people do find out about deaths of folks who move away . . . but the younger the deceased is, the less likely the family is going to hear a lot from others as people simply don't want to intrude or feel awkward about how to address a casual friend or acquaintance's death when they haven't seen him/her in years and don't know the family well. This can leave the family wondering if people even know about their terrible loss.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,022 posts, read 16,943,481 times
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I am in favor of notifying more people rather than fewer people. I, for one, appreciate knowing when a former colleague (for example) has died, even if I did not know the person extremely well. I don't know why it has to be so awkward either. "In case you weren't already aware of it, I want to notify you of the death of ______. (A few brief details can follow).
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