It all started back in late 2011. Carole Roberson passed away, and the latter half of her obituary read, "She loved her family, history, antiques, horses, the arts and good gossip. Her regular emails to family were often unintentionally hilarious as her typing was spotty and her typos were legendary. Regardless, Carole wrote short stories and was working on a screenplay. She was a difficult mother and a horrendous mother-in-law. She will STILL be missed."
Well that's not what you typically hear about a recently passed family member! Roberson's obituary made the rounds online, with some people shocked, and others praising the more honest, and real storytelling of a person's life.
While once relegated to publication in your local paper, in the Internet age, obituaries are posted to memorial sites (public and private) every day. Legacy.com, where Roberson was remembered, posts more than 500 every day. Anyone can find them, and they are available in perpetuity, unlike a printed paper, which gets recycled in a week or so.
Roberson's kinda-mean obit isn't the only one. William "Freddie" McCullough of Savannah is the latest "colorful" life history to shock and amuse the masses. In addition to covering the deceased's peccadillos regarding vegetables and cocktails, McCullough's son wrote, "Freddie adored the ladies. And they adored him. There isn’t enough space here to list all of the women from Freddie’s past. There isn’t enough space in the Bloomingdale phone book … He attracted more women than a shoe sale at Macy’s. He got married when he was 18 but it didn’t last. Freddie was no quitter, however, so he gave it a shot two more times.”
Definitely fun to read, but what's the intent behind such revealing — and frank — information, which can never be disputed by the dearly departed?
“Our dad was a unique and special guy,” Mark McCullough —t he oldest of six, who wrote his father's obituary — told the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He said he looked at typical obits for what NOT to do in his father's. “I wanted to do things differently to honor him with an obit that fit him,” says McCullough.
Which is a fair response: Who wants to be remembered as a boring person when they aren't — and all who know the person are aware of the truth?
Perhaps boring wedding announcements will be next?
What do you think about these unconventional obits? Rude and disrespectful, or funny and modern?
Related on MNN: