Reaping What You Sow…

They say as you get older the first portion of the paper that you look at is the obituaries.  I find as I am rapidly approaching my mid 30’s that I am inclined to agree.  Of course I don’t sit at the dining room table with a cup of coffee, but rather I check the online version.  Even with the advent of electronic reading material I find that one of the first sections I check are  those,  the obituaries. 

Sometimes its an old neighbor that I find, or an old teacher.  Sometimes its just a last name that jumps out at me so I open the link  to see if its someone I know.  Today was just such a case.  The last name is one that I recognized, so being curious to see if it was a relation to the persons I know with that last name I opened it  and here is what I found:

*last names removed*

G******** HELEN
99, of Averyville Lane, Lake Placid, NY passed away Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, NY. She was born in Philadelphia, PA, August 15, 1908. Daughter of Robert and Frances. Mrs. G had worked as receptionist and secretary for Fruehauf Trailer Corp., Pittsburgh, PA for several years. She is survived by her daughter, Linda S and her husband Hugh of Lake Placid, NY. She is also survived by her extended family, Margaret S of Pittsburgh, PA, Muriel and Thomas S of Pittsburgh, PA Dylan S of Pittsburgh, PA and several nieces and nephews. There are no calling hours. Services and Burial will be held at the convenience of the family. The CLARK FUNERAL HOME, Lake Placid, NY is in charge of arrangements.

It is the portion in bold that bothers me.  “…at the convenience of the family”  Now I don’t know if this woman was a saint or a sinner, and frankly I don’t care.  Obviously SOMEONE thought enough of her to place an obituary ad in the paper.  Yet the service will be held at THEIR CONVENIENCE.  This rubs me to the quick.  This woman has a daughter, and has several nieces and nephews, plus “extended family” yet not one could take the time to sit in a funeral home for a few hours and let someone pay their respects.  Even its just one person?  Nor do they have the time to call a pastor, rabbi or priest and set up even a grave side ceremony?

Perhaps privacy is the intent, perhaps this was an intensely private woman who would have frowned upon the pomp and circumstance.  So if that is the case then portray that:  Viewing and Burial to be private.  However to attatch your name(s) to an obituary at the end that reads “at the convinience of the family is just disgusting.

I know I am standing in judgement of this family, and that isn’t my job…but it angers me that a woman with a family who lived 99 years can be dismissed because it’s “inconvinient”  I makes me selfishly wonder…how will my obituary, and those who like me are barren read?  Unlike this woman we don’t leave behind a child(ren) who should be willing to be inconvinienced, who want to celebrate the passign of our life…but if I did I would sincerely hope that one lesson I would leave them with is that you reap what you sow…

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6 responses to “Reaping What You Sow…

  1. You are right I can’t help but think that if the woman is that old, they had to know she was going to pass at some point. There are such things as prepaid funeral arrangements to atleast work out some of the details ahead of time. To not atleast have the convenience to do a proper burial and service seems rude. If the details aren’t convenient for three months does that just mean the woman sits on ice for three months?

    Now in their defense, since the woman lived out of town and many of the family members seem to live in this area they may make arrangements with family members about time that works for most people. My mother (being a minister and all) has had requests to delay a funeral by a day or two to get as many family members from out of town a chance to get into town. Those details may not have been available at the time of the newspaper printing. My understanding is that the online obits are updated when the printed ones are updates. There may not be local visiting hours but there might be visiting hours in Lake Placid where the woman seems to reside. Those details may be printed in the paper there.

  2. Wow…that cuts. I’m sure that if Helen’s friends see the obit that they may reach out to the family and say “What the hay? We’d like to pay our respects”. At least if I knew this lady I would.

    I’m afraid of what my obit will say. One of my biggest fears is that it will indicate that I died alone.

  3. Wow, I’ve never seen anything like that – ever!

    Glenn lost an uncle last year. He had very little family – a brother in California (we’re in NJ) and nieces and nephews. He didn’t have any friends either. And, he chose to be cremated, which is against Jewish law. Oh, and he didn’t have a dime to his name. Even with all of that, we held and paid for a funeral service, attended by 13 people, in a chapel with a Rabbi. Why? Because it was the right thing to do!

  4. To reach the age of 99 is absolutely amazing. I hope to survive this world that long.

    She has family and I am guess she still has some friends who would like to say their goodbyes. If they were honoring some wish that she made the wording should have been different.

    From Pittsburgh to NY is about 8 hours so they may have delayed the services for a day to accomodate them. But she died on Tuesday and the obituary is just showing on Friday? That has me thinking that they had to make sure of what she died of. I have a murder mystery mind so forgive me if that is out of line.

  5. Cassie (DS Friend)

    I have never seen anything like that in an obit. It makes me sick to think that a family member who lived thru so much major history in our country has family that can’t take two hours of their time to pay their respects. I’m very saddened by this. I’m with ya on this one. It’s not right!!!

  6. My immediate thought was maybe the death was unexpected but she was 99!! For the love of God!! She probably has had her own funeral planned for 20 years!

    I don’t know what the circumstances were, but surely they could have come up with something better than the “convience of the family”

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