Sunday, March 25, 2007

I know what necrophiliacs are...

But is there a word for people who fuck the survivors of the deceased? I know all major newspapers are guilty of this, but this is what $400+ gets you in the Dallas Morning News obituary section...

REID, SYBIL ELAINE, Born December 19, 1913 in Denver, CO and passed away March 23, 2007 in Dallas, TX. She is preceded in death by her husband, Percy R. Reid and brother, James Dilts. Elaine is survived by her sons, James D. Reid and wife, Lynda, Robert L. Reid and wife, Helen and John R. Reid; 3 grandchildren, Ray, Deborah and Daniel Reid; 4 great grandchildren, Matthew, John and Rachel Reid, Caroline Roberts; sister-in-law, Mae Rene Dilts; niece, Rebecca; nephew, Russell. She loved her family, liked to read and was a 50 year member of Trinity Presbyterian Church. A graveside service will be held 11:30AM, Monday, March 26, 2007 in Restland Memorial Park. Family will receive friends from 10-11:00AM, prior to service. A memorial service is scheduled for 3:00PM at Grace Presbyterian Village. Memorials may be made to Grace Presbyterian Village, 550 E. Ann Arbor, Dallas, TX 75216 214-376-1701. Restland 972-238-7111 restlandfuneralhome.com

OB6 Obituaries, Notices - Published in the Dallas Morning News on 3/25/2007.


"She loved her family and liked to read." Well, that's a nice summation of a lifetime of ninety-three years, isn't it? There was quite a lot more to my grandmother's story than that, obviously. And our family certainly would have liked to include more about her history and the type of person she was. But after shelling out $500+ on flowers and whatnot to the Restland folks (who also tried to swindle us out of some additional money...but I won't get into that little breach of ethics), that's pretty much all the family could afford for the obituary.

The death/funeral-related industry has got to be the biggest racket allowed by law. And it shouldn't be because the "sevices" they provide - or, more accurately, the amounts they charge the grieving relatives because they know the families have no other options - are downright criminal, in my opinion. I've never understood how it's any different than price-gouging or mafia shakedowns. The whole industry is one big scam. They operate under the pretense of helping those in need who are in vulnerable situations. But what they really do is use that vulnerability to drain every last cent they can from the survivors. From the funeral home folks down to the newspapers. Obituaries aren't expensive because they need to be. Everyone knows the obituary writers occupy the lowest rung on the journalistic totem pole...they don't get paid for shit, they don't actually write the obits themselves...they just type up the pre-written notices provided to them. Where's the expense? I'll answer my own question: nowhere. Obituaries are expensive because the papers who print them know they can get away with it.

So I'm going to take it upon myself to write what I think is a more appropriate obituary for my grandmother. And the Dallas Morning News can kiss my ass.

REID, SYBIL ELAINE, Born December 19, 1913 in Denver, CO and passed away March 23, 2007 in Dallas, TX. She is preceded in death by her husband, Percy R. Reid and brother, James Dilts. Elaine is survived by her sons, James D. Reid and wife, Lynda of Waxahachie TX; Robert L. Reid and wife, Helen of Houston TX; and John R. Reid of Larned KS; three grandchildren, Ray, Deborah and Daniel Reid; 4 great grandchildren, Matthew, John and Rachel Reid, Caroline Roberts; sister-in-law, Mae Rene Dilts; niece, Rebecca; nephew, Russell.

Elaine, known as "Mimi" to her family, was a caring, devoted and generous person. She was a fifty-year member of Trinity Presbyterian Church and often volunteered with church functions and activities. During her 70s and early 80s, Elaine was a regular volunteer for Meals On Wheels, delivering meals to people her age and older who had limited means with regard to providing food for themselves. She was a survivor of the Great Depression and was forced to relocate to Dallas after fleeing the hardest hit Dust Bowl regions of Kansas and Oklahoma. Elaine lived alone for the remainder of her life after her husband's untimely death at the age of fifty, but she was never lonely. Elaine had a good-natured and often self-deprecating sense of humor that never left her, even toward the end of her life when her physical condition was no longer able to keep up with her lively personality, wit, intelligence and empathy. Her generosity in spirit, sincere caring, and selfless character made her loved, admired and respected by her family. Her life was and will be forever intertwined with those whose lives she touched.

A graveside service will be held 11:30AM, Monday, March 26, 2007 in Restland Memorial Park. Family will receive friends from 10-11:00AM, prior to service. A memorial service is scheduled for 3:00PM at Grace Presbyterian Village. Memorials may be made to Grace Presbyterian Village, 550 E. Ann Arbor, Dallas, TX 75216 214-376-1701. Restland 972-238-7111 restlandfuneralhome.com

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2 Comments:

Blogger bill h said...

Man, what a great grandma you had. You did a nice job of writing her eulogy. She sounds like a cheerful, giving person, the kind of person who makes the world a little nicer by passing through. Nicely written Danny.

I won't comment on the funeral business further, other than to say my experience has been exactly like yours. My experience with Restland helped me decide on cremation as my option, ashes spread at Cat tail fall in Big Bend National Park.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous wendy said...

Thank you for sharing the story of your grandmother.

Love and Hugs

7:56 PM  

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