Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Obituary writer for hire

Went by a funeral home the other day to audition my idea of presenting myself as an Obituary Writer and a composer of funereal tributes. Two guys listened to me respectfully but a little bemusedly, I think. They agreed that obits are generally run-of-the-mill and woefully unjust but they cited the cost as the mitigating factor. The local Gannett rag commands $300 for a pathetic little standard obituary. At those prices even the most bereaved party can't be expected to indulge in the catharsis of publicly unburdening their heart.

As for my proposition to provide funereal tributes, they told me that people normally leave it to their preacher to handle that if they can't come up with something on their own.

The major obstacle they saw, however, was that hardly anyone wants to linger over death or make any sort of big deal about it. Many, they told me, will come in of a morning, on the heels of a loved one's demise, and ask that services be conducted that day.

Death is just another inconvenience, in other words, to be got past as soon as possible.