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Homegoing notices

March 28th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I found myself reading the obituaries in the Birmingham News this morning, a section of the paper that I rarely investigate.  It struck me that it is an amazing challenge for a relative or friend to condense the life of a loved one to a small paragraph of newsprint in just one or two days.  Some of the lives mentioned in this morning’s paper were quite arousing, even inspiring, as represented by their extremely limited selection of facts.  For instance, this tribute:

Viola Hawkins Davis quietly slipped away from us to be with her Heavenly Father on March 26, 2008, at the ripe young age of 104.  She was a virtuous woman who touched numerous lives.

Born December 24, 1903, Viola Davis was the last survivor of 11 children.  She was a wonderful mother to many and loved crocheting, quilting, and cooking.  She played the piano at her birthday celebration on December 24, 2007.

Just knowing that this beloved woman played the piano at her 104th birthday party on Christmas Eve was enough to make me wish I had known her!

Thankfully, there are a multitude of ways to convey the bald fact that a life has ended.  Here are some of them, as printed in this morning’s local paper:

– died
– slipped peacefully away
– passed away
– departed this life
– passed
– entered into eternal rest
– made her transition on Saturday, March 22
– went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
– went to be with the Lord
– exchanged his earthly home for eternal life
– was predestined and appointed his time to pass on March 25
– left this walk of life
– was called home to be with the Lord
– transcended on Wednesday, March 19.

Nearly as many people made a transition as died.

In Ms. Viola Davis’ obituary, the following announcement was made:

Homegoing Celebration will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 30.

They’re having a party to celebrate the life of Viola Hawkins Davis!

I used to think it morbid when I would see one of my parents turn to the obituaries section as part of their newspaper-reading ritual.  I’m beginning to think differently about it now.

Tags: language

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 CJ // Mar 28, 2008 at 3:47 PM

    I hope they throw a party when I die. (In a good way.)

    I’m only 26, but I catch myself reading the obits to be sure there’s no one I know in there.

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