At what age do you start reading the obituaries?
I swear, I would be clueless about who died without my father.  He reads them every day on the toilet.  When I was in college, he phoned to tell me my former best friend Nichele’s mother, Marni Klinsky, had died.  Nich and I stopped speaking our senior year of high school.  Still, years later, I stopped.  I turned.  I literally began to run for a train, in exactly what I was wearing, and headed straight to the funeral.  I might have called work. 

As much as I hate Todd sometimes, I had a life with him.  I picked up his socks, pet his head when he was sick, laughed with him, traveled with him, borrowed his ties for belts, slept in his shirts, shared a toothbrush from time to time, definitely his razor, and I loved him very very much.  We had a full real life together.  When his maternal grandfather died, I wrote his obituary speech for him to give.  Some people just don’t know how to say it, or what to say. 

Today, I learned his paternal grandmother died.  He was not close with her, despite seeing her often.  That’s a long story, and not mine to tell.  She was always kind to me, though, but I don’t belong at the funeral.  Actually, unlike my immediate need to turn and run to the train, not one impulse in my body tells me to go.  It’s not my life anymore, and I’m not a comfort to any of them. And I don’t want to be.  It wasn’t my life anymore when Marni died either.  But I went, and paid a shiva call.  I loved Marni, and Nich Klinsky.  I still do.  I always will.  I wanted to comfort Nichele and her brother Stew.  I will always want that.  I love them, depsite not speaking to them since college.

I know Todd doesn’t need my comfort.  And I’m not sure I could ever give it.  I guess I love Todd, but I also hate him for his recklessness.  Relationships should have obituaries, so everyone knows what happened in a succinct line or two.  I know his immediate family doesn’t need comfort, still, it’s a sad time, and it’s always nice to know people care.  And I do… which surprises me.  You only have one mother.   



  1. Since I became a "certain age," I read the obituaries relentlessly. I need to make sure that those who are as old (or older) as I am are dying. So far, so good.

  2. Mm. Yes, relationships should have obituaries indeed. But just because a relationship dies does it mean your feelings for the people and places in that relationship die too? Maybe not…or at least not right away.

  3. i don't read the obituaries because it brings me down. i don't even like going to wakes. there's something creepy about the whole thing.

  4. Good point – relationships should have obits. LOL!

    A special section right near the Personals. :)

  5. Relationships have obituaries. We reveal them whenever our current bf/gf asks "who is that?" alluding to a photo or two… we tell them quickly with sufficient details that we simply were not right for each other, but it's not enough. Granted, not all relationship obits say "she dumped me when she got engaged to some other guy, then slept with me for six months without telling me under the guise of patching things up" but often it's similar: we didn't work out for this (…) reason. Something quick to fill a hole in your history that she is curious about, then move on so as not to dwell.

    An obit is like closure.

  6. I totally agree~ relationships should have obits, not only for closure, but so the people involved can reread them and recognize when they are repeating past mistakes.

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