Why I Scan the Obituary Page
I’ve mentioned before that one of my morning rituals is to peruse through the daily obituaries in the Asbury Park Press. I started this years ago because I would often find that parents of friends I no longer kept in contact with had passed away and it was a way to reach out to them and express my sympathy.
Now I’m sorry to say it’s not unusual to find that a contemporary had passed on which just reinforces what my father used to say ”the longer you live the more people you know die.”
Not in the category of the greatest quotes of all time but pretty much on point.
However I scan just about every obituary (there are 21 of them today) with interest and often read them in their entirety, especially those who leave seemingly way too young. I find it fascinating that some read like a novel while others are just a brief chapter into the life they led.
Some are factual and to the point, others highlight family memories and favorite hobbies. And then there is the all-time greatest obit written by the daughter of a 67-year old York, Maine man who died last December which began with the headline “Irishman Dies from Stubbornness, Whiskey.”
Times does not allow me to share all of it but here are some excerpts:
Chris Connors died at age 67 after trying to box his bikini-clad hospice nurse just moments earlier. Ladies man, game slayer, and outlaw Connors told his last inappropriate joke on December 9, 2016, that which cannot be printed here.
Anyone else fighting ALS and stage 4 pancreatic cancer would have gone quietly into the night, but Connors was stark naked drinking champagne in a house full of friends and family as Al Green played from the speakers. As much as people knew hanging out with him would end in a night in jail or a killer screwdriver hangover, he was the type of man that people would drive 16 hours at the drop of a dime to come see.
He was a rare combination of someone who had a love of life and a firm understanding of what was important-the simplicity of living a life with those you love. Chris enjoyed cross-dressing, a well-made fire, and mashed potatoes with lots of butter. Absolut vodka and Simply Orange companies are devastated by the loss of Connors.
A “Celebration of Life” will be held during Happy Hour at York Harbor Inn of Monday, December 19th. In lieu of flowers, please pay open bar tab or donate to his water safety fund.
Now that’s an obituary and that’s I would have loved to been there for that final happy hour!