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Tuesday, November 08, 2011


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Erin @ The Impatient Gardener

What an interesting assortment of fascinating women. As for the obituary page, it's a first stop for me as well when I pick up the NYT (not as often as I'd like to). It's also what I miss most about working at a newspaper. I loved writing obituaries. Most people think I'm morbid or weird when I say that, but what I found was that every single person in the world has done or been something interesting in their life and it's amazing to tell that story. Also, there's an interesting thing that happens when a reporter calls a family shortly after a loved one has died. Rather than be offput by a "pesky" reporter meddling in their business, as is the all-too-prevalent assumption about reporters, most family members are thrilled to be to tell a stranger about their loved one. Back in my Freeman days I always offered to write the story obits (no one was going to arm wrestle me for them) unless they were on a person already covered on a beat and then when I came back to work at the weekly, every obit was (and is) written by a reporter so I got plenty of opportunity to write them there as well.

Linda Brazill

Youre right — everyone has a story if only someone asks!

I had no idea you had that background in obits. I assume that is the Waukesha Freeman you refer to. I always look to see who wrote the obit as well. I have a couple of books of obits (not sure where they are in the morass of books at our house or I would give you the titles).

I always used to read NYT obits by  a guy name McG. (Robert McG. Thomas). I remember reading the obit of a famous person written by McG. and published in the Times — after McG himself had died. Added an extra bittersweet layer to the whole thing.

I have a whole file of newspaper clippings of favorite obits!


Sarah Laurence

Your morbid habit is quite lively! These women were impressive. Loulou has such a marvelous face. I can almost hear her inner laughter.

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