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Old 10-15-2009, 11:44 PM
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,236 posts, read 13,523,621 times
Reputation: 25856


I see nothing wrong with posting suicide as cause of death. I, too, can remember reading one such obituary only once. That is entirely up to the deceased's loved ones, and perhaps it's better to just be honest in the article.

However, suicide hits loved ones a little differently than other causes of death. No less painful, let me add, but I have seen what it does to the family when someone unexpectedly leaves earth on his/her own terms. There is terrible anger and maybe even shame, and those emotions don't subside quick enough for announcements and funerals. (I know exactly what I'm talking about here, because 2 days after my child was killed, my supervisor lost her adult daughter to suicide. The rage and despair was incredible.)

By the way, I read obituaries often to see if anyone I know or recognize has departed. I certainly don't view this as a sick thing.

Old 10-16-2009, 12:08 AM
37,500 posts, read 25,232,088 times
Reputation: 5855
The incredible nosiness of humankind is frustrating. All that is necessary to know is that the individual has died . . . all other morbid fascinations and curiosities are unconscionable intrusions into privacy at the worst of all possible times.
Old 10-16-2009, 05:14 AM
4,512 posts, read 6,580,670 times
Reputation: 811
^this stance needs support.
during their lifetimes, many folks never get any attention to their REAL needs!
Old 10-16-2009, 05:50 AM
2,958 posts, read 2,080,575 times
Reputation: 584
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
The incredible nosiness of humankind is frustrating. All that is necessary to know is that the individual has died . . . all other morbid fascinations and curiosities are unconscionable intrusions into privacy at the worst of all possible times.
I'm seventy five years old. I wrote my obituary about the time I was seventy. I've edited names and locations for obvious reasons but this is about the way I wish it will read:

Ashes to be returned to my wife or family.
I was a long time resident of XXX, 1944-1994.
I retired from XXXXX in 1993 after 41 years service...Oct. 1, 1952 to Sept. 30, 1993.
During the 1940's and 1950's I won numerous amateur talent contests in XXX, YYYY and ZZZ playing the piano. I played piano and keyboards with several bands and/or combos from 1952-1980.
I was in the army in 1957/58 and in the state national guards until 1964. I was tank commander(staff sergeant E-6) of a crew on an M-48 Medium Patton Tank when I was discharged. Company C, 5th Medium Tank Battalion, XXX armored. I worked with my friend XXXX of
YYYY to plan and arrange the first official reunion of that unit.
I was licensed as an amateur radio operator, XXXXX, in 1959, a member of the ARRL for the rest of my life.
I enjoyed fishing and gardening...I loved to watch things grow.
It is my wish that the following statement be included in my death notice or obituary:

"All my life some of the most trying and tedious moments which I experienced were while attending wakes or funeral services for family, friends and/or associates. For that reason and because I don't believe in ghosts, holy or otherwise, I request that there be no type of celebration, ceremony or memorial on my behalf. I hope my family and close friends will try to remember the good I did while I was alive and forget or forgive me for the rest."
Old 10-16-2009, 09:04 AM
16,301 posts, read 24,232,954 times
Reputation: 8261
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
You're assuming that every single suicide brings pain to the family..
Of the two families I know where a family member committed suicide it caused a great deal of pain and embarrassment for the family.

I suspect these families represent that vast majority of family's where someone committed suicide.

A newspaper will create a short notice of death in the obituaries. The family members write the obituary talking about the person and their accomplishments, so clearly it is the FAMILY'S CHOICE and not that of those with a morbid curiosity.
Old 10-16-2009, 09:12 AM
11 posts, read 25,842 times
Reputation: 11
I don't think you have to be sick to read obituaries. They are an editorial history of someone's life. I don't read them often, but they can be fascinating to see what someone acheived and the times they lived through. The cause of death is usually only a passing refererence in what is primarily a summary of the person's life. By their nature they are news so they come out soon after the death which is when the family's grief is most acute. I think for that reason sensitivity is called for in not spelling out all the details. This is the decent and appropriate thing to do.
Old 10-16-2009, 09:26 AM
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,903 posts, read 11,166,497 times
Reputation: 1804
Originally Posted by SifuPhil View Post
Sometimes they need that courage. Don't you want to end their suffering?

Why not? Have you ever seen someone holding onto a poor quality of life, because they thought that was expected of them?

It's a sad sight.

Why is there shame associated with it?

Why is it sensitive?

I'm not sure, but it seems you're just reciting the party line rather than giving concrete reasons why it shouldn't be so.
yeah, you're probably right re; party line.
i don't have first hand experience with suicide.
i remember a kid in high school jumping off a building to his death while tripping but i don't think that qualifies as suicide.
so, i dunno.
carry on.
And why is there shame associated with suicide?
Well, why do you think?

Last edited by coyoteskye; 10-16-2009 at 10:25 AM..
Old 10-16-2009, 11:18 AM
2,958 posts, read 2,080,575 times
Reputation: 584
Originally Posted by coyoteskye View Post
And why is there shame associated with suicide?
Once a lawyer was taking care of some legal paperwork for my wife and I and he said that legally...suicide is simply one of many causes of death.
Old 10-16-2009, 08:46 PM
536 posts, read 967,406 times
Reputation: 571
i don't think it's anyone's business. it isn't usually posted that someone died from cancer or a heart attack or what the cause of death was.
Old 10-16-2009, 09:03 PM
Location: Tucson/Nogales
16,477 posts, read 20,009,944 times
Reputation: 22402
I think it's only natural human curiosity, to scan the obituary columns, to find someone having died prematurely (in their teens, 20's), to wonder why, why, why! Morbid curiosity, no; just natural curiosity.

Particularly, when at the end of the obit there's no suggestions as to where donations should be sent, whether to a medical organization or not.

Yes, fatal car accidents happen every day. And it always helps to clear up the mystery when the family states in an obit that that was the cause of death.
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