Friday, October 06, 2006

Morose topics

I brought home The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries today. I am an habitual obituary reader, although I dislike funerals. Obits are much safer and only create momentary psychological discomfort. What I found interesting at a local funeral home is that they give you a form to fill out which looks like an application of sorts. You list the deceased's immediate family, who they were predeceased by, where they died, where they were born, and on. The funeral home then writes up an obituary based on this info, and the paper charges you a fortune to announce your loved one is dead. I take that back. The three line announcement is free, but the actual obituary can cost hundreds of dollars. You pay it, of course, because you are desperate to show reverence to your loved one. Only the best. I bypassed the form and wrote the obituary myself in my past experience. So, if you ever wonder why so many obituaries in Maine seem generic, I think I may have found the answer.

My mother is very matter of fact about death. She has a living will, and told my father years ago that when her kitchen was redone she wanted a jelly cupboard put in that she could also use for her coffin. She had read about that somewhere and liked the practicality of it. He was not thrilled.

I, on the other hand, don't think about death much. I loved watching Six Feet Under, although I can't imagine being in that line of work. I went to a florist shop today and I am rethinking that passion. My shop would be lacking carnations and all the catty chit chat.

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