No respect for the dead

Dateline: Mon 04 May 2009

This is from a friend's online journal about the death of a loved one. The point here is the exorbitant cost of obituaries in the Indianapolis Star -- en especially egregious practice, since it comes at a time in life when families are vulnerable.

Wrote my friend:

"The obituary will be in The Sunday Star, 4/19. For anyone who hasn't paid for an obit lately in Indy, it makes the price of gas look like a bargain. Suffice to say years of training with (spouse) on the value of money left me paralyzed with pain every time I added up the numbers.

"After a few phone calls, I settled for insulting everyone in the family by cutting corners on all names and managed to keep the obit tab just under what the CREMATION cost."

This is an indignity that can never get enough exposure. I'm just waiting for the day when some clever young entrepreneur will create a good website for local obits, and charge a few dollars, if that.

More on the obit front: a former colleague called the other day and said he read an obit that contained a glaring factual error. When he called the paper to complain, he was told that the funeral home is responsible and basically the family can say whatever they choose and there is no fact-checking done. "So somebody can claim to have been a U.S. senator for 40 years, and they'll print it," he fumed.

Yep. For a fee, of course.


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