Over the course of the next few blogs, we will focus on obituaries, answering questions that might arise when you are faced with writing one for a loved one. This first segment is some general information about obituaries, then in later blogs we'll move into more details about where to post them, how to write them and who to turn for help.
Obituaries have been around longer that you probably know. The word "obit" in Latin can be translated as "going down or setting" (as in a sunset) or more bluntly, death. Obituaries first appeared in the early days of Rome, when sophisticated society enjoyed a daily papyrus newsletter of sorts which included happenings of the day, including death announcements of important citizens. In America 's history, the purpose remains the same, which is to announce the passing of someone to the broader community. Obituaries can take many forms. Some are very official and serious, others can be sweet or funny. Poetry is sometimes included and many such poems can be retrieved today through a simple Google search. Initially obituaries were short, due to the difficult processing of printing and publishing. According to an article "The History of The Obituary" from by Frazer Consultants, the Civil War was a major turning point of the importance of the obituary in America . "As soldiers left their home states to fight in the war, obituaries became more prominent. They would have more biographical details and list genealogical information to help spread the word to as many relatives as possible."
The article also stated that historians have used the style of published obituaries to gauge the mood of the country. For instance in times of war or despair, obituaries are more sentimental and religious. In booming times, the focus is more on success, jobs and wealth. Throughout most of history, papers would hire reporters to write obituaries, in fact, it was a "beginning beat" for many newly hired reporters. Now, with so many other options for sharing the word about the loss of a loved one, find an obituary editor can be a bit more difficult. Next time, we'll cover a few things to consider when you need to write an obituary for someone you love. Thank you to Frazer Consultant's "History of the Obituary" which provided information for this and future articles.
In this day and age, we may laugh when we hear of someone who tries to bring a "support" peacock or turtle onto an airplane. But although that might be a bit over the top, pets do provide a wonderful sense of love and support to so many people. Losing one can be devastating to an individual or family. There is no need to be embarrassed or ashamed of feeling deep grief for the loss of a pet. There are ways to help you grieve and it is an important process to recognize. Here are a few ideas to help.
1. Realize that the grieving process will be slow. The feeling of loss will not go away quickly. Be prepared for the sadness to linger awhile, especially at times when you and your pet shared together.
2. Don't be ashamed or undermine your feelings of grief. Pets can become true members of our families and we can be dependent on their love to turn to when we are feeling a variety of emotions. Not having them there is a shock.
3. Find a way to memorialize your pet. Put a shadowbox or framed picture in a spot near your pet's favorite spot. You will find yourself looking there often and seeing an image or two will bring comfort.
4. Don't let others tell you how to feel. No one can understand the bond between two people or human beings and their animals. You know how you are feeling, others shouldn't tell you how they think you should behave.
5. Make sure if you have other pets, that you keep their routine the same. Actually, they will most likely be missing your pet as well and will need a little extra TLC.
6. Look after yourself. This is true for any type of loss. Neglecting your own needs, especially, time to reflect, can cause harm and it is important to make sure you take care of you.
In a future blog, we will focus on helping a child deal with the loss of a beloved pet.