Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Laminated Obituary Bookmark

Obit Jane Craig Entwistle by midgefrazel
Obit Jane Craig Entwistle, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.

Obituary and Death Notice
When we went to the funeral home for the calling hours, the funeral director gave the immediate family a bookmark. I tucked it in my bag. When we were driving home, I pulled it out an examined it. One side is the 23rd Psalm. I still can't recite it all. When I turned it over, I was very pleased to see this scan.

In addition to the name of the funeral home, there was the death notice and the obituary laminated together. This is from the Providence Journal which is the major newspaper for the whole state of Rhode Island. at that time I was wondering how I was going to get a copy of this so I sat back in the seat and relaxed on the way home.

Just a few years later, when my mother-in-law died, I wrote her obit. It cost a thousand dollars for this same newspaper.  In between that time and Aunt Jane's two things occurred.

  1. The complete demise of the death notice
  2. The extra expense of the photograph of the deceased
 In the past, only the death notice was free. (Some newspapers still offer this but it is increasingly disappearing.) 

In this example, the death notice is the only place where the date of death is recorded. Now that, this has been eliminated, the person who write the obituary will need to include the actual date and there is no assurance that the obit will not be edited by the newspaper staff. The date of the printing is of course, at the top of each page but most people forget to cut that out when saving an obituary.
The photograph in an obituary is a great clue about the person's life. I have noticed that many, unlike Aunt Jane, are of when the person was young. Many men and women are in uniform. But, many newspapers are not allowing a photo unless the person was famous.

Teachable moment: People should be taught to make sure they add the date to a cut-out obit.
Teachable moment: Perhaps everyone should pick out their own photo for their own obit or to be on display at a memorial service.


P J Sabados said...

When my father sent me a scan of a similar bookmark for my uncle, I saw that the funeral home had not only stamped the date at the bottom of the obituary, they also had a stamp that gave the name of the paper. I'm sure not all places are so thorough, but it's nice to know this one was.

Anonymous said...

Hi Midge, Yes, the price of paid obituaries in many newspapers is beyond what people usually can afford. I did not use a newspaper obituary when my late mother passed away. I simply put a notice with very brief bio in her high school alumni association news. It did the trick. I did the same for another recently passed relative who attended that same high school (huge association in a major city).