are strange things. They also vary greatly in quality.
There was an obituary for the Senior Cat's cousin in the state's weekend newspaper. I was expecting it to go in. I had actually contacted the staff about one being written.
It was, as newspaper obituaries go, rather a good one. The Senior Cat read it and approved. Several people mentioned it to me, also with approval.
The information in it came from interviews D... had done with the paper over the years. He donated a lot of money to medical research and equipment over the years. He also helped others to raise money for similar causes.
It began when his wife, whom he loved deeply and strongly, became ill with a brain tumour. She did not survive. I knew M... well. When they lived in first the UK and then Canada we corresponded regularly. When they returned here they lived not far from a school I was teaching at and I would, at M...'s invitation, "pop in". I was away in London when M... died. D... was devastated. He never really recovered.
But he did have a relationship of sorts with another woman H.... They never lived together but they went out, went away on holiday, and shared social occasions. Yes they were good friends, very good friends. The relationship cooled a bit when she decided she no longer wanted to go on the sea cruises he enjoyed. He didn't want to go alone so he asked a life-long friend whether she was interested in going with him. Yes. She went with him but insisted on paying her own way.
It led to tension of course and that was sad because there was really nothing in either relationship. D... was still in love with his M....
Yesterday I had an irate email from the son-in-law of D...'s first friend. He couldn't understand why H... was not mentioned in the obituary, indeed why H... and her children were not mentioned. He thought it was "poor form" not to mention them.
I had to point out that this was an obituary. Obituaries are written about the person who has died. In the state newspaper the most that will be said is the "s/he is survived by her/his partner X... and their children A...B...and C...". Those people have to be related in law to be mentioned. H...and her family were not. I also pointed out that D... himself had never mentioned H... or her family to the paper when being interviewed.
My response was not appreciated. I was told that dealing with the estate was a "thankless" task that H.... and her family had taken on. They benefit greatly under the will too. I responded to that by pointing out that the whole thing could be handed over to a solicitor and asked him not to contact me again.
I doubt he will.