It’s B minus 21 days to the big Four-Oh, and I find myself checking the obituaries with increased frequency. What does this mean? Do I think I will find myself in them?
No, not really. It just seems like there are more parents and grandparents that I know in there, and I don’t want to miss anything. I’m not keeping a stockpile of sympathy cards or anything — although maybe I should. It’s a small town and you hate to see somebody you know in the local grocery and be like, “Hey! It’s so great to see you! How the heck are ya!” only to find out that they’re not so hot because Granny Tvrdik/Pfeninger/Chan/Klimek/Hvezda/Zavadil just passed away.
It’s embarrassing. It’s a very small town.
It’s also a bit of Bohemian neighborhood now that I think about it. And I don’t mean in the “disregard for convention” way. I mean in the “Grandma was from the Old Country” way.
During my tenure at the family weekly newspaper, we had to follow a strict news style when writing obituaries. No one “passed away” or “went to meet her Savior.” They all died. I notice things are a little more casual in my local obits these days. There are a few more instances of “this union was blessed with three children.” That always makes me chuckle. Yeah, they had four kids, but they were only blessed by three of them.