I read the obituaries page in the newspaper almost everyday. Some find it morbid that I go to that page. ” What’s there to read in that column?”, I am often asked. Just announcements of people who have passed away. Am often asked why I would like to read death announcements right in the morning.
But for me an obituary isn’t just about someone’s death being announced. I read the little passages accompanying the announcement. I study the picture which graces it. Some people have twinkles in their eyes, as if they found pleasure in life’s little joys. Some look grumpy. Some look so common place that for a second I wonder if I have actually met them somewhere. They have such ordinary faces.
I wonder at what kind of life they have lead. How they must have left behind bereaved family members. Some of them have a long list of great grand children mourning the loss. And I think what a long life that person must have lead to have had the fortune of seeing his or her great grand children.
There are faces I see every year. In memory of long lost loves. Each year they appear without fail. With a simple line of ‘we miss you’ accompanying the photograph.
I ache when I read one of a small child. Every parents’ nightmare. Losing a child. A million thoughts rush through my mind as I read that one page every morning.
I read some declaring the emptiness a person has left behind him.
And I wonder at why we do not make that effort when the person is living, but declare undying love when he is gone?
But then as I said before, to me obituaries are about life and not death.