Thursday, May 14, 2009

Those Odd Obituary Photos

I'm at the age where the reading of the obituary page is high on my list. Luckily I have not been featured there, but, I have one request of my family- no teenage photo, please! Take the photo at right, for example. The dead man was 85, for crying out loud. Did he do anything beyond his stint in the army back in 1945? Were there no other photos of the man during his eight and a half decades on earth beyond his army service?

Then there are those awful photos of infants, some still with tubes running up their noses that parents put in the newspaper. Such an insult to their few weeks on this earth. And why an 'obituary' on the infant anyway? An obituary is to tell the life story of the deceased.

Several times over the past decade, I've had to decide on a proper photo for the obituary column for someone of my own family. Luckily there were many from which to choose. As each person was well into their adult years, a mature photo seemed appropriate- one which would represent the prime time of their lives. After all, at age 85 or 90 or 70, we aren't what we were in our high school years.

Memories or nostalgia? There is a subtle difference between the two. Dear family, if you read this [they actually don't] please forgo my senior high school photo when choosing my obit picture. I'm not that naive young punk any longer. I last saw him driving his '60 Pontiac Catalina at a high rate of speed down the highway many years ago.

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