I used to write features for a daily newspaper. While waiting at my desk for calls to be returned, I’d occasionally flip through my paper’s obituaries. It started to depress me that I could read three separate obituaries for three different women who died in old age, and if you took the paper away when I was finished and asked me which woman went with which obituary, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.
They were all members of a club or organization.
They were all “devoted grandmothers” who “loved baking cookies.”
They’d all attended X high school and had X job.
Was that all there was to them? I wondered.
The answer, obviously, was no. So why didn’t their obituaries reflect that?
I realized later, when writing my dad’s obitogy, that maybe the problem – in addition to an adherence to old-fashioned standards – was the timing of it all. No writing is easy, but trying to craft several paragraphs about a loved one while in the process of grieving can be a special kind of challenge.
It was experiencing that challenge myself that prompted me to finally create this website. I wanted, if I could, to make the same process less difficult for others.