I am a newspaper person. Of course I love my Internet, but it wouldn't be morning if I didn't get to open the front door and lean down to pick the paper up off my stoop.
The only morning I felt fearful about it was on Mom's obituary day.
Now I am a reader of obituaries; a collector and connoisseur. My Mom and I, on our 9:30 a.m. phone calls were always trading "obituary alerts." I love that recently folks have stepped away from the very formal, and are using this summary space as an opportunity to leave family history. I often fall in love with a person I've "met" in the obituaries, and then remind myself, Oh yeah…
I didn't have to remind myself Oh yeah when I reached for the paper on Mom's obituary day. I knew what was coming, but there's nothing like seeing it in print. I bought many copies of the paper. They are still in a bag with a lot of "first days" stuff sitting on a dining room chair.
My paper, The Columbus Dispatch, has a feature they call First Person, where readers get a chance to write a column. On March 19, one of the first days I even looked at the paper since Mom's obituary edition, a man named Jeff Benedetti had his say in First Person. Maybe it will cheer you, too.
Benedetti is also an obituary "fan"; he came to it while writing his mother's. One day he began to put his hands on each obituary page and say a prayer for all the people.
When I thought more about this man, this man with his prayers and blessings in appreciation of life and respect of death, I was moved. What a lovely, loving thing to do. And to think, he had a few weeks earlier put his hands on the page that so boldly admitted, Yes, it is true, Phyllis Greene passed away.
Thank you, Columbus Dispatch. And thank you, Joe Benedetti.
D.G. Fulford is the author of , written with her mother Phyllis Greene.
Video: Obituary - Sentence Day
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