Tag Archives: obituary

How funny is death? SPOW Conference Part Two

Or is that really the question I want to ask? I am forever niggled by something having to do with writing obituaries and it has, partly, to do with the reactions from womenfolk and menfolk, children folk too (although less … Continue reading

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Timbits and dinosaur poop

Writing the lede to a piece of journalism can feel like dangling from a rope over the abyss. I’m there now, puttering up to write another obituary, sitting in a Queen Street coffee shop while rain thunders down, trying to … Continue reading

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Yvonne Brill and the Stroganoff Debacle

There was controversy in the obituary world last month following the death of pioneering rocket scientist Yvonne Brill.  The debacle was discussed in “What’s an Obituary For?” an article written by Megan Garber and published in The Atlantic. I’ll borrow generously from … Continue reading

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A toast to James Pon’s grandfather

James Pon’s grandfather filled my mind during this rail trip from Montreal to Toronto last month. It was he, along with hundreds of other Chinese workers, who built this railway–although on the other side of the Rocky mountains. Last month, … Continue reading

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Society of Professional Obituary Writers

June 7-9, 2013, Toronto Here in Toronto we are thrilled to be hosting the fourth conference of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers (SPOW) We know how much fun they are. We know how important they are. And we know we need to … Continue reading

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Loss. Regret.

Writing obituaries sometimes feels like an exercise in loss and regret. The subject has died, of course, and so I lack the opportunity to interview this person. Instead I must gather details of her or his life from colleagues, family, … Continue reading

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“Let him rest,” says his widow

When I’m writing an obituary, I live among the family. Not literally, of course, but emotionally. It begins with reading the death notice, usually written by one of the deceased’s children, placed in a newspaper at great cost and twigging … Continue reading

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