This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Obits 2011

As I have mentioned before, I actually 'enjoy' reading obituaries. Morbid fascination, you may think. Yes. Sometimes it is. I tend to check out wikipedia's "Recent Deaths" section, to see who died...they are usually people known for something. But when I used to get the newspaper, I skimmed the daily obituaries. You may think it weird...and it is...but who said I cared about being weird? But the key to these things are: they summarize someone's live in just a few paragraphs, if not shorter. Someone who loved this person wrote something profound about them, and the least anyone can do is take a minute or two to read it. For a moment in time, I can imagine the life this person had, and how much they had in their lives.

I have a section of posts that are related to obituaries. One of my favorites is this one about Count Goddfried von Bismark:

It's much more difficult in the online world to run across the 'average' person. Apparently specializes in obituaries, so I'll have to check that out some day.

But this article from the NY Times? Wow. My virtual-friend Kevin posted this on facebook. I read it last night before I went to bed...and I was moved. I cried. And I read every one of these. And I'm still thinking about these people today. I couldn't imagine a better, well-thought out article to write. I have to share it again and hope you all are as moved as I was.

BTW. The first person they write about is Mike DeStefano, a comedian. He was on Last Comic Standing and he died at the young age of 44. I listened to the podcast that they cite in the article. It's an amazing podcast and I recommend listening to it. I think they picked out one of the most beautiful pieces of his interview to present in this article.

Without further adieu:


  1. My cousin,

    You are really a deep person. My wife (Saandy) read the obits everyday in the local paper. I never really thought about it the way you two do but actually makes sense to me now that you two have explained it to me.
    Love you cuz.

  2. My first comment from you :). Thanks.

    I don't know when I first got into reading them but I think it was at a fairly young age. You know, famous people have people write their biographies but people like you and me? All we get is a few paragraphs, yet we mean something to so many people. That's what I think of obits... I want to know who that person was to the people that will miss them.

  3. You're not weird. I read them too.

  4. What an interesting way to look at life, and what an interesting concept that's dead on. (Sorry, that pun just presented itself.) People who will be in Wikipedia's recent deaths will have to have had an extra-ordinary life; otherwise, why bother to post it. Hum... got me thinking this Christmas day, before my kids and their kids arrive. (Hope I make it to Wikipedia some day. I'd like to know that I, too, am extra-ordinary. LOL

  5. Thanks Ann. It's nice to be called "not weird" by a fellow weirdo. :)

    And Jo - thanks for not pointing out my weirdness. I like your hope about making it into wikipedia...hadn't thought of that. Course, I hope it's not in one of those odd cases that show up as a Darwin award. :)

  6. Well said, CHuff, well said!