Somedays it can be hard to find any good news in the paper. A recent Sunday was no
exception. A quick glance at the front pages of the first section and sports section found nothing to cheer me up. Experience told me where I could find the good news. I quickly turned to the Obituaries and resolved to read every one.
It is true that obituaries don’t tell the whole story. Lots of people don’t get an obit. No one writes an obituary that says the newly departed beat his wife and never paid their debts.
The obituaries that do get written remind us that many people live lives well worth living, lives that bring joy to others. Stories abound of people who rose from modest circumstances to do great things. Stories abound of the unexpected surprises that make us laugh.
That Sunday’s offerings provided many examples.
- Margaret grew up in South Dakota where she was the dance partner of a young Tom
- Bob honored his wife’s memory by teaching himself to make batches of her applesauce
and blackberry jam.
- Sharon spent 36 years teaching special needs students.
- Mike was an accomplished colored pencil artist, while Paul was a prize winning water
- Mary and her husband raised 5 boys “all of whom she was very proud of.”
- George was an unlimited hydroplane driver.
- Brian had a long career as an umpire.
- Jack loved his time with the 12th Special forces, and enjoyed a retirement career of
driving a Metro bus.
- Joan added her beautiful voice to the church choir.
- Rick loved his work, but he loved his wife more.
Many of the above were successful in business, respected jurists, or dedicated teachers. But it was the snippets I cited that I found most inspiring. I was glad to meet these people, even if only in their obituaries.
So when the first section reports news that’s almost too hard to read, and the sport section reminds the fans of all the reasons to be discouraged, my advice is take heart. The Obituaries can be found at the end of Sunday’s Opinion sections, and it might be the section you should read first.