Sunday, January 28, 2007

"Pretty amazing" obit for family princess

Jim Sheeler passed along this story, which he called "pretty amazing." I'm sure you'll agree with his assessment.

It's an obituary Erin Sullivan wrote for Cynthia Sargent, homecoming queen and family princess, for the Jan. 22, 2007, edition of the St. Petersburg Times.

Here's the essence of Erin's story about Cynthia:
She never did anything she didn't want to do - and she definitely didn't want to die. People usually did what she wished, without complaint, because they loved her. After 42 years of getting her way, her body was the first to refuse.

For me, coming from a newspaper where the fact that the person is dead is supposed to be mentioned in the first two sentences, I love how Erin made it clear in the lead that Cindy was dead without having to resort to the traditional death sentence.

Her stepfather leaned over her deathbed and said he was going to the store.

The princess' last request? Three ripe, organic, unblemished bananas.

She'd always been particular.
She ordered food like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally, with everything just so and on the side.

Cindy, who preferred to be called Cynthia, because it was more elegant, also wanted to look like the slim, trim homecoming queen that she had been as a teenager.

Erin writes that Cindy's mom remembers a time when the chemotherapy burned Cindy's palms like she had pressed them down on a hot skillet. She and Cindy were going to Wal-Mart to get bandages. But Cindy still took hours getting ready - wig, scarf, outfit, polished toenails, pretty sandals, makeup.

"Cindy," her mom said, exasperated, "what does it matter?"

"But Mom," Cindy said. "I might see someone I know."

You have got to read the entire obit. It's awesome.

1 comment:

Andrew Losowsky said...

Outstanding. Great find, Jim.