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Old 06-04-2014, 09:46 AM
 
9,472 posts, read 5,272,694 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleDolphin View Post
I'm not morbid, but I do read the obits on a regular basis. Living in a small town, sometimes I know the deceased. But in addition to that, I mentally cheer when someone dies in their 90's or older, meaning they've lived a full life--and are older than me.

On the other side, if someone younger than me passes on, I feel vulnerable and...old.

Another thing about the obits -- when I see someone in their 30's, 40's or 50's has died, I wonder what was the cause? If not from a major disease, or from an accident, were they unhealthy from their lifestyle? Were they morbidly obese? Why did they die so young? Are there lessons to be learned.

But of course, the cause of death is not usually posted in the obits.

Anyone else read the obits with interest and curiousity?
You're not alone! I'm in my 60s. I started paying attention to obits in my early 50s because of the number of folks I noticed dying at the same age I was at the time. If the cause was stated it was usually cancer.

Also I was struck by the fact that these people were Boomers just like me. That made me very sad.

Then, as I continued to read the obits, I started to notice a pattern: very few people died at young ages, there was an uptick wrt people in their 50s, a drop off over the next decade or so and then the inevitable with whomever was left dying in their 80s/90s.

Slightly off topic. When the media talks about Boomers they tend to use 77-79 million as the number of Boomers. Well, yes, that's the number who were born between 1946-1964. But, obviously, there are way less than that now. The last time I researched it about 13% of Boomers have died.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:03 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,506,246 times
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I still have some contacts with my former work back in California so I would likely hear if anyone died. With five children between us all in the same area the same applies. What was unfortunate is that there were six deaths among fellow employees in the last few years before I retired and several were younger than me by a "healthy" margin. Where we live now there are a number of people older than us and there have been close to a dozen deaths in the five years we've been here. Four were very close neighbors and friends whom we knew and another two were acquaintances from just down the street. I sometimes feel like we're living in an obituary so I don't other reading them. Anytime someone dies here in our little 215 home community we find out about it. The same goes for the local village in which we're not considered "outsiders" any longer so we get all the news - several deaths there too.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Retired in Malibu/La Quinta/Flagstaff
1,324 posts, read 1,330,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I scan them quickly in the Los Angeles Times most days.
Same here. It's a habit I picked up from my grandfather. He learned to read English that way when he came over from the "old country." He always referred to the obits as the Italian sports page.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Location: Location
6,353 posts, read 7,836,346 times
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My dtr-in-law's father passed away last week at age 72. His mother attended his funeral. She is 102.

I read the obits but not as regularly as I used to. Nothing morbid about it but I stopped the paper a few months back and got out of the habit. I know they're on-line but haven't yet added that look-up into my morning routine.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:43 AM
 
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I'm in too big of a metro area to really read obits here, other than occasionally catch one because of it's length or something in the headline. What I do on a daily basis is read them in my home town paper. Usually it'll be a parent of a high school classmate, or a name will sound familiar and I figured it was a friend or church member of my parents. But my own parents, now long deceased have few contemporaries left back there.
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:06 PM
 
5,820 posts, read 5,191,568 times
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I LOVE the obits. Since I choose to live rurally, the papers I read all have lovely, chatty, sometimes quite moving obituaries. I'm not related to a soul in the area, but that's maybe why I enjoy reading them. You can learn so much about a community from an obit.

But then, I enjoy reading phone book yellow pages too. People who only read on-line don't get the joy of just browsing around, and finding connections, and seeing a bigger picture. (rant)
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Colorado
18,836 posts, read 4,948,304 times
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I read the obits looking at the birth dates....go down the list, compared to me, older, older, younger, younger....
Used to be almost always older...not so much now.
Also, everyone's obit seems to say how they were always smiling, lit up a room when they walked in, was loved
by everyone.....in that case I'll never die....
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,991,724 times
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I read the obits every day in my local paper. Ten is usually the most, more often six or seven. The names are posted on the front page online, and you click on the link to read the obit. I can often guess from the first name, before opening the obit, whether the person was a boomer, or younger, or a lot older, and I'm usually right. Many of our obits tell the cause of death, usually a long struggle with cancer.

I hate the obits that go on and on with accomplishment after accomplishment, ad nauseum. You rarely get anything about the true character of the decedent. I prefer the plainer ones, like a homemaker who loved to garden, knit, and help out in her community. The "important" people get up to a third of a page.

This is one of my favorites, found on the Net:

William "Freddie" McCullough Obituary: View William McCullough's Obituary by Savannah Morning News
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:55 PM
 
13,324 posts, read 25,582,469 times
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I always read the obits because it's like a mini-biography, if well written. I think the New York Times' "Portraits of Grief" after 9/11 altered the obit options and there are now a lot more interesting obits. I also like to see if the person is old and was an immigrant, how many kids he/she had and how many grandchildren were produced- to see if the "demographic transition" is real in these people's lives- from large families to one or two kids per couple in one or two generations.

Also, I work in mental health and know a lot of people casually. I look for familiar last names. For instance, I saw that one doctor's father had died and that he'd been a Holocaust survivor. I also have run into former patients' names, whether natural deaths or otherwise.

For myself, I want no obit or funeral or any such. Donate anything useable and cremate the rest.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:56 PM
 
13,324 posts, read 25,582,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pekemom View Post
Also, everyone's obit seems to say how they were always smiling, lit up a room when they walked in, was loved by everyone.....in that case I'll never die....
Heh. I remember when the NY Times featured every person who died in 9/11 and it did seem that they were all loved, happy, etc. etc. A friend of mine said, "Just once, I'd like them to say, 'He was an SOB, but he didn't deserve to go that way.'"
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