Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

February 24, 2012

Icy words of the deceased insult from beyond grave

By LISA SIMPSON STRANGE
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — It would seem there are some advantages to writing one's own obituary ahead of time instead of leaving the task to loved ones after the fact.

After all, dead people can't be yelled at for what they communicate after they have passed on, can they? Their tombstones – yes, the actual people  ­– no.

According to a post on Jim Romenesko's blog on Wednesday, a Tampa, Fla., woman, Josie Anello, 94, managed to reach out from beyond the grave in her Feb. 11, 2012, obituary to tell her children exactly what she thought of them.

“She is survived by her Son, 'A.J.', who loved and cared for her; Daughter 'Ninfa', who betrayed her trust, and Son 'Peter', who broke her heart,” the obituary stated.

Wow, this opens up so many possibilities, doesn't it? Think of all the people who could be told off, put in their places and shown just what the dearly departed truly felt about them.

I know it's kind of morbid to think about writing one's own obit and it might become quite time-consuming, especially if the person lives a long life. He or she might have to end up doing a whole series of rewrites depending on who falls in and out of favor during the intervening years.

Cousin Mary may have stolen Grandma's silver punch bowl once upon a time, but if she returns it and begs forgiveness, should she still be forever called a sneak thief from the Great Beyond?

And Uncle Teddy may be the family drunk now, but once he sobers up and starts attending AA meetings does he really deserve to be labeled a lush for all time?

It should give all adult children pause to think Mom and/or Dad not only have the power to cut them out of the will, but the ungrateful offspring could be publicly humiliated by an icy finger of accusation pointing to them in print from the grave, as well.

If this becomes a widespread practice, maybe we will all think twice and start treating each other, family and friends, a little better.

Or maybe, we should just reserve our postmortem deliveries for the really offensive people in our lives who we know will never really change — several politicians come to mind.

Lisa Simpson Strange is news editor for the Glasgow Daily Times. She can be reached by e-mail at lsstrange@glasgowdailytimes.com