[Thursday, September 3rd, 8am ... ... I have been asked by "blacky333" (see comments section) to pull this post. Either that or change the deceased's name. Evidently when the deceased's name is Googled, my post comes up first, which is terribly unfortunate if the googler is looking for information on their loved one or dear friend. I apologize to 'blacky333' and anyone else who read this as it initially published and took offense. I meant no harm or disrespect to her (the deceased's) memory. I wish that 'blacky333' had read some of the comments. For the first time ever, I started off my own comment section with a critical comment which began with, "Where do you get off, Goldenrod, criticizing an obituary that is well-written and seems to accurately sum up this woman's philosophy, 'I did it my way!'" I made a couple of other comments in that section later, as well, which pretty accurately sum up how I feel about this whole 'obituary thing'. I invite 'blacky333' to read them.
I have since deleted (hopefully!) all names referenced in the Chronicle's obituary (copied below) for this woman, and apologize again for any hurt feelings. None were intended, I assure you. However, I might have paid better attention to how many times (the deceased) and her family's names were mentioned in the Chronicle. I guess it's true, then - what I've heard, that the Google search engines will pick up and prominently categorize your article if a name or particular phrase is mentioned enough times. In the future, before I hit "publish post", I will make every attempt to be more sensitive. I will endeavor to read it one last time with these questions foremost in my mind, "Is my meaning clear?" "Will I - albeit unintentionally - hurt someone else's feelings by publishing this post?" (Sometimes, however, it is my intention to show another side of a subject, and that side might even include statements illustrating some of my thoughts that could accurately be interpreted as angry. Again, please see the comments section.)
It is my sincere hope that 'blacky333', even tho she's not from Texas, will be able to attend the gathering in celebration of her friend's life on September 19th.]
How would YOU interpret the following obituary, published in the Houston Chronicle - our one and only surviving 'rag' - just one day ago?
(Name deleted) died peacefully at home August 26, 2009 after a long difficult struggle with smoking-related emphysema. Though this disease robbed her of her energy she never lost her upbeat, fun-loving attitude and she pushed herself to remain as active as possible. (First name deleted) grew up in Kennett Missouri, and graduated from the University of Missouri where she was the president of her sorority, Delta Delta Delta. In January of 1965 she moved to Houston TX with her husband (name deleted) and daughter (name deleted). (First name deleted) loved Houston from the first day. While living in Houston she had a very successful real estate career. Her life ended in her beloved home in Riverview Place with the support of her friends, neighbors, caregivers, family and daughter. It can be said that (first name deleted) lived and died in her own way and had a life she loved. (First name deleted) was preceded in death by (name deleted) her husband of more than 50 years. She is survived by her only child (name deleted). (First name deleted)'s philosophy was "Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves". In lieu of flowers please treat yourself to some luxury, laugh and drink a toast to (first name deleted). She will be smiling down on you with that charming laugh. A reception celebrating her life will be held Saturday, September 19, 2009 from 2-5 PM at her home. All her friends are invited.
I do not make it a habit of reading obituaries. This particular one was brought to my attention by our local American Contract Bridge League's (ACBL) unit website. Apparently, (first name deleted) was a regular player in the duplicate bridge world here for some years, but - try as I might, when looking at or studying her photo - I don't remember her.
I guess some of my questions are, "Who wrote this obituary?" "Was the writer someone who knew her?" "Of what cause did her husband precede her in death?" "As she was - supposedly - a bridge player active in the bridge world, why was that fact not even mentioned in the obituary?" "All her friends are invited to her home" ... where? In Riverview Place? (Not that I would be attending. I don't remember this woman!)
If you'd care to leave any, I'd like to hear your comments. I will add my own response later, for any of you who are interested in hearing what I have to say, so please DO remember to check the little box next to where it says "Email follow-up comments to ... ...". I will only say at this juncture that my first reaction was one of anger, since tempered (of course) by my writing this post.