“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Mar 6, 2014
DEAR ABBY: "Still Alive in San Diego" (Nov. 22) said she reads the obituaries every day and feels somehow disappointed when she doesn't see a name she recognizes. She asked if it was "weird" and you told her yes, that it seemed like a lack of empathy.

I don't agree. What's happening is this woman is lonely and the activity has become the hub of her day. It gives her something -- sadly -- to look forward to and a sense of closeness to her acquaintances when she recognizes their names.

My advice to her would be to find another way to fill the void and not obsess about the obits. Joining a club or taking up a physical activity would allow her to meet people. I'm betting she will feel less of a need to connect to the obituaries if she expands her social circle to include the living.-- BEEN THERE, TOO, IN RHODE ISLAND

DEAR BEEN THERE, TOO: Your point is well-stated, and it was echoed by other readers who, like you, read between the lines of "Still Alive's" short letter. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: If the letter-writer is ill, disabled, elderly or has outlived most of her companions, it might explain her "letdown" when no one she knows appears in the obituaries. Seeing a familiar name may bring back memories of better times and make her feel more connected to the outside world.-- JULIE IN WISCONSIN

DEAR ABBY: An obituary is more than a death announcement. It tells a story. It's often the last memory loved ones have of someone cherished, and it's the deceased's introduction to a sea of strangers.

Obituaries are scrapbooked and prized, and researched for generations by genealogists, historians and relatives looking to complete their family tree. A well-done obituary is the final word on how a person is remembered.-- SANDY IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR ABBY: Some people, whether or not they live and associate with friends and family, feel a certain emptiness in their lives and look for different ways to feel something emotionally. Finding the name of someone they know, especially in an obituary, where some of the person's biography is included, provides the opportunity to feel compassion toward that individual or even feel grateful to still be alive. Not finding a familiar name can seem like a missed opportunity to experience that.-- LOYAL READER, ARLINGTON, VA.

DEAR ABBY: Please tell "Still Alive" she isn't alone. I have often wondered why I look through the obituaries half-hoping to see someone I know. I suspect it may be similar to how people slow down to view a car wreck. I'm a sympathetic, caring person; I don't consider myself weird or cold-blooded.-- EMPATHIZING IN HONOLULU

DEAR ABBY: I, too, am a daily obit reader. I have lived in this town for more than 50 years, and I know a lot of people here. When I see a name I know, or the name of a family member of a friend, I take the opportunity to send a card to express my condolences.

And, by the way, your column appears on the same page as the obituaries in my local newspaper, and I'd never want to miss a day of Dear Abby!-- BIG FAN IN TUCSON

DEAR BIG FAN: Bless you!
blunt advice

New York, NY

#2 Mar 6, 2014
There are some former bosses, coworkers, and a few others I would like to see on the obit page.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Mar 6, 2014
I consider it a success story when I dont see my own name listed.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#4 Mar 6, 2014
I just don't buy any of these excuses. Unless you're looking for your mortal enemies, there's no justification for feeling disappointed when someone you know doesn't die

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Mar 6, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
I just don't buy any of these excuses. Unless you're looking for your mortal enemies, there's no justification for feeling disappointed when someone you know doesn't die
Maybe she is a member of a Tontine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tontine

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#6 Mar 6, 2014
I find this strange. For goodness sake, join a club!

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#7 Mar 6, 2014
Maybe she's disappointed because funerals *are* her social activity.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#8 Mar 6, 2014
RACE wrote:
I consider it a success story when I dont see my own name listed.
I woke up this morning and I felt so fine
'Cause I stuck out my elbows and I didn't hit pine
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#9 Mar 6, 2014
I certainly don't think it's weird to read the obituaries. I do think it's weird to be disappointed that you don't see the name of someone you know - unless it's one of those "Ha! I see I've outlived George (substitute any name you like)." My grandfather used to do this. The obituaries were the first things he read when he got his hands on the newspaper. My mom didn't understand it but I could see the gleam in his eyes when he saw the name of someone he knew. ;-)

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#10 Mar 6, 2014
Given how spread out many of my friends are nowadays and their relatives whom I've come to know over the years, I look in the obits. I agree, that part isn't strange.

Being disappointed someone you know isn't in them, is. If you want to go down memory lane, wouldn't taking out the photo album be the same thing? Or taking a trip to a place you used to frequent?

Different strokes, I guess.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#11 Mar 6, 2014
Toj wrote:
Given how spread out many of my friends are nowadays and their relatives whom I've come to know over the years, I look in the obits. I agree, that part isn't strange.
Being disappointed someone you know isn't in them, is. If you want to go down memory lane, wouldn't taking out the photo album be the same thing? Or taking a trip to a place you used to frequent?
Different strokes, I guess.
What do you mean by spread out? I can only think you mean geographically, and if that's the case, wouldn't their obits be in the paper of wherever THEY live and not in yours?

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#12 Mar 6, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text> What do you mean by spread out? I can only think you mean geographically, and if that's the case, wouldn't their obits be in the paper of wherever THEY live and not in yours?
Yes, I mean spread out geographically. Most of their parents have stayed local or have/were snowbirds. I sometimes look on the online obits from the newspaper. Usually, I'll look back when someone I know dies and I look theirs up or I need to look up someone work-related. I get requests from my bosses to find out so-and-so's relative who livce sin Ireland and can I find their obit. Funny thing is, I have.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#13 Mar 6, 2014
...relative who LIVES IN ....

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