Someone at work checks the death notices in the local paper and clips those of people who’ve been in our care. Twice my name has appeared on those pages; fortunately, rumours of my demise are grossly exaggerated (to paraphrase Mark Twain). Families sometimes use a staff member’s name to thank our amazing team.
Too many obituaries, I feel, read as if they were written on an assembly line. Burdened with platitudes and clichés, they fail to give a sense of who the person was, what life they lived, what mattered to them, and so on. In contrast, in a simple sentence clipped from a recently-clipped obituary, a woman remembers her beloved husband of 44 years:
“He loved to fish and dance and grew a large vegetable garden.”
How would you like your death to be announced?