Why do people read obituary columns?

United States
October 13, 2008 11:02pm CST
I don't usually read obituary columns in our local area, cause I don't know many people here. But, I have read a few obituaries and always find them morbidly fascinating. Sometimes, I walk away from the experience with more questions than answers. Sometimes, I wonder, how the person died; if he was loved by his family or even what he was doing minutes before death. Morbid, I guess. Sometimes, I see an obituary for a really young person and feel sad for the life they'll never experience. Maybe it's just human curiosity to wonder about the passing of other humans. Do you ever read obituary columns? Do you know anyone who does?
6 people like this
14 responses
@heaven11 (1161)
• United States
14 Oct 08
Hi beautyqueen26 I dont neccesiarly enjoy reading them but I do mainly because for 5 years Iworked at a nursing home and I became very attached to alot of the elderly people so I read them praying that thier name will not be thier I too feel really sad to see a younger person but then again Iam sad to see any names in there
3 people like this
@webeishere (36377)
• United States
14 Oct 08
I am the same way. Except I have elderly and ill frriends in my A.A. club. It's my way of keeping up if I don't see some of them really. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
2 people like this
@webeishere (36377)
• United States
14 Oct 08
I read them as I have a lot of ill and or elderly friends tyhrough my A.A. club. Just today I read about one of the founders of my A.A. club passed from heart failure recently. I hate seeing all the youngsters ;listed especially children. So sad and horrific for the parents I imagine. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
3 people like this
• United States
14 Oct 08
As parent to a very young child, it's one of the things I worry about. Life is so precarious and fragile. Never know when it's going to be one's time to go. But, every moment on Earth with loved ones is a gift to be celebrated.
2 people like this
@apples99 (6564)
• United States
14 Oct 08
I never read the obituaries because I find it very depressing I never understood why people read it myself.
3 people like this
@fwidman (11519)
• United States
14 Oct 08
I read the obits from time to time, maybe it's my age, I want to see if anyone I know has passed away
2 people like this
• United States
14 Oct 08
I wish I knew more people. Then again, if I did, I'd have to see them all dying, eventually. Most of the people I know are online. Wonder if there's some kind of online obituaries.
2 people like this
@gemini_rose (16194)
14 Oct 08
I used to read them all the time, I don't know why, just something that I always used to do. I do not do it anymore as I do not buy a regular paper anymore. I think it is really sad to see them for really young people or children, it is very sad. I do like to look at peoples ages though to see how old they were and most of them had pretty good ages, hopefully that is a good sign for me!
2 people like this
@wolfie34 (26877)
• United Kingdom
14 Oct 08
I have only become interested in reading them since moving back home to where I was born, because obviously I went to school in this area and I always look out for names that I recognize as the people at school, yes it is if I am honest a bit of revenge there because I am always hoping my bullies at school have passed on, I know that sounds terrible to say but I think it's terrible that they bullied me at school and I never got my own back. Does that sound kind of macabre?
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
14 Oct 08
Like you I wonder how people die. My last job (that I lost due to health in May) was working for a crematory, cemetary and monument company. My job was to fill out the paperwork on the bodies we were cremating each day. My job also was a graphics design job - I designed headstones. Weird huh? I do not miss that job a bit. The money and the quiet (cemetaries are rather quiet you know, but at least the customers don't talk back to you) I do miss. LOL
2 people like this
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
14 Oct 08
well i am not all that morbid but i do wonder about other people and their lives - even people that i see on the bus. i have a vivid imagination plus i am a history fanatic, so i am very interested in that field, so yes, i do read the obits just because i am interested in other people.
2 people like this
• Philippines
14 Oct 08
I for one do read obituary columns. I'm interested in the eulogies in the column. It gives me an idea of who the persons were back when they were still living. But nowadays in my place, even being in an obituary is an indicator of social status. That's because from the hundreds of papers I read, I noticed that mostly prominent or rich names or individuals are in the obituary column. I thought the local papers would give easy access for people to post obituaries and inform their distant loved ones and relatives but now it's more like only these 'certain' people are the ones who monopolizing the column. How sad.
@psspurgeon1 (1110)
• United States
14 Oct 08
My grandma reads the newspaper every day including the obituaries for the sole purpose of gossiping about anyone she knows. It is rather embarrassing to know information about some people before they themselves know! I myself read the obituaries or rather skim over them because I find it scary and sad when young people die. There seem to be more and more people under the age of 50 dying and i just think it's a terrible thing. I read to see if they are loved ones of any of my friends or aquaintances. You know, I have actually heard of people reading through them on a daily basis for the purpose of robbing their home or getting ahead in the real estate market and I think that is so disgusting. Me it's just a simple curiosity, I hope it's not creepy or weird cause I don't want to be creepy or weird. I have had the misfortune of reading some children and baby obits and I will be sad for days. One time, there was a lady that was about my age who had 5 or 6 kids one of which was only a couple of months old and she hung herself in their attic. I read through her obit and read all of her kids names and I cried and felt sad for months about her. I think it just gives us a sence of humanity, compassion for others and I personally don't see anything wrong with it. My grandma on the other hand is just nosy and weird. :-()
1 person likes this
@jerzgirl (7892)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
14 Oct 08
If I still took a paper, I would read them. I always did. People I knew started dying right after I graduated high school. It was a definite notification of mortality. I can't offer condolences for those I don't know about. Sometimes, I look them up on the local paper's website and go through them. One of my former classmates was killed in an auto accident between our 25th and 30th reunions. I didn't know. If someone hadn't told me, I would have sent a very untimely reunion notice to his widow. I felt horrible because he had been a good friend of mine and I hadn't offered timely condolences because I simply didn't know. Now that I'm older, my parents' peers are also departing and when I find out, I let my mother know. Also the parents of former alumni. I try to leave a note in the guestbook online if I don't plan to attend. But, then there's the perspective that my grandmother had - she once told me she always checked the obituaries first thing because if she didn't see her name, she knew it was going to be a good day!
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
10 Mar 09
I don't read them alot but when I do happen to see them I often wonder the same things. How did they die, what did they do with their life, how will affect their family, will they be missed and where will they go after they die...heaven or hell. Kind of a combination of curiosity and being morbid but it is something to wonder about. [b]~~AT PEACE WITHIN~~ **STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS**[/b]
@lilaclady (28270)
• Australia
15 Oct 08
I do read them whenever I have the chance to red out main paper, but the reason I do is I am always thinking about people from my past, if they are still with us, how they are and what ever, and a couple of times when I have read the paper maybe at McDonalds Restaurant or a friends place I have actually seen someone I knew in there or that a member of their family has passed away...I guess I am just a sticky nose, I just love knowing what happened to people in my past.
@Cley_CJ (105)
• Malaysia
15 Oct 08
I only brief through them and only reads if its about someone I know... Have you ever wondered if, while reading through obituaries, suddenly you find one about you???! That would be really, really scary. Not to mention strange...