Monday, September 24, 2007

Dead issue

I confess, I haven't read through all of the information that MSN posted today (Sept. 24, 2007) under the teaser headline: Planning a funeral for $800 or less.

And I don't know enough about these subjects to say authoritatively that the writers of this and related articles on funerals, wills, living wills and estate planning (whose links are provided on the same page) know what they're talking about.

But I expect that folks, who are interested in such death-related issues, could learn something from this site.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bob Chaundy Explains the Death Beat

In a fitting farewell, Chaundy writes:

The obituarist is often characterised as a kind of media vulture hovering over its prey, waiting for it to die. "Grim Reaper" and "Doctor Death" are the kind of sobriquets attributed to our like. A colleague of mine once remarked, "When Bob says 'How are you?' it's a loaded question."

But I had been disabusing my neighbour the previous evening of the notion of there being anything macabre about working on obituaries. Obits are about life, not death. Not for us the "slap and clammy slither of the circumscribing clay", as my former colleague Andrew Marr, in Heaney-esque mode, once put it. Death is merely the pretext, dealt with on the front page, perhaps, or in the case of TV, in the newsreader's introduction.

Chaundy recently left the BBC after 18 years heading the corporation's news obituaries unit.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Continuing Saga of an Advance Obit

This is a story of technological mishaps, false alarms, political upheaval and an 8,000-word article that was started six years ago and still hasn't seen publication. It is the complex tale of an obit. Fidel Castro's obit. And despite rumors to the contrary, the former leader of Cuba is still alive. As for his pre-written obit, it remains inside a reporter's briefcase.