ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Read Obituaries

Updated on January 24, 2010

 Try writing an obituary for a loved one that died. It is an exercise in concise English because space is money in a newspaper. Are there even obituaries online without being a paper printed version first?

Writing the obituary is difficult even if the emotion is absent.  You want to remember, to tribute, to make a feel good passage about a life that now ceases to exist. Not just for a day. A week. A month, but forever. It is not easy to cram all the highlights of one's life into a two inch wide column that nobody reads but for loved ones who, ironically, already know it.  The publication is like a morbid announcement that a life is gone. Strangers who read it simply say, "wow, they did a lot in life" or "was that it". Then, if  person did not accomplish much in life, it reads like a soap opera of the wonderful things or deeds they did or liked.

The obituary is a sign post. It is the last notice of one's life, the last chance to tell the world you did exist. I was here. Loved ones who write them do not need them for they could write a book about their beloved, far better than a brief narrow column of highlights.

Obituaries for the living are subtle reminders. Reminders of their own life, their own mortality, their own demise that they will not escape no matter how well they diet and exercise. Obituaries are clocks, ticking away as each passing day becomes a year becomes an era. Each time you, the reader, the casual glimpsing reader, notice the deceased birth dates. Not when they died. You may feel comfortable because the current group of dead lives all have birthdays 10 or 30 years from your own. You sigh. Not my time, yet, you think. So, you do not take them seriously or it seriously- death. The end of your existence, forever. It is a hard concept to grasp when you are healthy, virile and young. It happens to old people, not young and definitely not me! So you think.

Yet, obituaries sneak up on your own life. You start to notice. More people around your age seeing death. Geez, you think, this guy is my age or within 5 years of my age and now he's dead. How can this be? He's too young (even though it is age 45). You get uncomfortable, nervous, then you face reality and realise the death could be you now. No one knows when their time is up.

Obituaries are also wake up calls, not only to your mortality but what have you accomplished in life. What remains to be done. But they also serve a sort of futility, in that, in the end, it does not matter how rich, how poor, how educated, how famous you are because you no longer exist.

Nobody escapes having their own obituary.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)