Suicide Obits....Are They Delayed?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    In our small town two people in the 20/30 age range commited suicide this week. easy child/difficult child knew the guy and was friendly with the girl and her sister.

    Neither one is written up in the paper and I'm curious. Do you suppose that the bodies had to be sent out of town to an ME and therefore the family can't make any arrangements until the cause is verified?

    I'm not into "dark" subjects but I told easy child/difficult child that he should attend the service for the girl to support the surviving sister and family. When he asked "when is the funeral?" I discovered there wasn't even a notice of death. From TV shows I'm guessing that is the reason. Do you know? DDD
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Usually families of suicide victims choose to do a small service for family only. Suicide is such a tough thing to deal with for those left behind. Often it is done just so the family is spared questions they are not ready to answer.
  3. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I don't know if they still do this but years ago when I worked for a newspaper they had a policy of not publishing the obits of suicide victims, no matter what their age. I have no idea why, but it was a common practice with newspapers - something along the lines of thinking it would encourage others ... makes no sense to me.
  4. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I think that they do an autopsy on suicide deaths. That may take a bit of time before the family gets the body released to them. I don't think they can make final arrangements because they don't know how long it will take. Maybe they will put a notice in the paper when they have the arrangements made.
  5. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I thought notices about deaths were the choice of the family. I have left instructions that I do not want any type of obituary notice. If you don't know me and my family well enough to get a call that I died, it clearly isn't that important.

    I know several people who died lately (got calls or emails) and there were no notices.

    I have also noticed that drunk drivers, people who commit "suicide by cop" and the like don't often get obits either.
  6. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    We have had an epidemic of the early 20's suicides in a neighboring town. Their obits have been in it just didn't say how they died. I think it might just be a choice by the family/newspaper.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I thought that a public records notice was required. When my Dad died and I was the Executor I was shocked to find out that the Estate paid for full obituaries. I knew the funeral director and asked him "what happens to the people who don't have money?" and he replied "they just get a public notice". That was in the 70's and in the big city. Maybe notice is just required to be filed with the County or the State.

    How sad it is that young adults can't find the help they need. DDD
  8. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    My brother in law committed suicide years ago, and the obit was an issue of the family putting it in. Sometimes here there will be a "death notice" which will just say so and so died and give no details. With brother in law there was no doubt it was suicide, but they did an autopsy or blood work to find out if alcohol/drugs were a factor. He was stone cold sober. I don't even remember what we put as cause of death for brother in law. I don't want to go dig out the obit. It was such a hard time. I am not sure if public notices are done. Suicide is so taboo in our culture, I know it is not spoken of openly. Too many times families blame themselves.
  9. ML

    ML Guest

    The family of the young man who recently took his life just put some basics in the paper but not the cause of death. Yes, they do an autopsy. Also, the young woman at work who got murdered last week, I've not been able to find her obit yet either. I do think it takes a few days.

    Another related question. This young boy in question took pills and was by a creek. He fell in and drowned. How can they put "s" on the death cert with those circumstances. Yes, he had a bottle of pills in his pocket and pills in his stomach, but how do they know he wasn't just getting high and things went too far and he fell into the water? Just wondered.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Around here all obits/death notices are at the family's discretion. There is a form that you print out or pick up at the newspaper. Basically it guides you through writing the obit. If the family does not do this then their is no notice published. The funeral homes will help or do it for you if you want.

    It is the same for weddings and baptisms, except that funeral homes won't help with those notices.

    I am sorry for your losses. I am sure you will be a comfort to the family.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Families pay to put Obituaries in the newspaper. If they don't buy one, it won't be there. Maybe they didn't know what to say, or didn't want to deal with the scrutiny. There is usually a "Death Notice", but I can't remember how the Death Notices get in the paper - whether it's something the families do or if it's something that the papers find on their own.
  12. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    The papers here run a regular obituary for free; they usually do not list a cause of death but do give the basics of the services. Sometimes they say, "Private services." If you want to put more in than the basic, you have to pay. One funeral home in our town automatically sends the obits to the paper; you have to make a special request to keep them out. The other one only puts them in if you make a special request to put them in. Usually they appear just a day or two before the service so they may be waiting till the body is released and the services are set.
    It sounds like what is usual varies pretty widely from area to area.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When my mom died we didnt get an obit or a death notice. I am not sure why. No one ever asked me about and it just never occurred to me to go down and pay for it at the paper. Really, she knew no one in my town and why would I care to notify anyone since we werent having any type of service? All we did was have a small private viewing with just me, tony and the boys and then she was cremated. No other service has ever been done. They sent her box of ashes to me about two weeks later and I have them up in a cabinet with her moms. Someday I will figure out what to do with them...I hope.
  14. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I think it varies by area. When I worked for the large city newspaper they had Funeral Notices and then they had paid Obituaries. The Funeral Notices were not charged and were put in by the funeral homes, just a short few lines giving the names and times and places of services. If a family wanted a larger obituary or a picture, these were charged per line, but it was all handled by the funeral homes.

    In the little town where I live now the obituaries are run for free. The funeral home gets together with the family to get all the facts straight, then composes the obit and submits it to the little weekly county newspaper. It's strange here because most of the time, by the time the paper comes out, the funeral has already been held, but usually people already know via the grapevine.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Well, guess it does vary alot from place to place. In today's paper the young black man had a very nice obituary listing the family members and the info on services. The obit stated " died unexpectedly on Wednesday" etc. There is, evidently, some question about the cause of the girl's death and no writeup at all. DDD
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, you've gotten some great answers.
    Quite often in our paper, we get the "died unexpectedly" line and we can read between the lines.
    If there is no obit, you have to stay in close tough with-the family to find out when the svc is or it will slip by.
    Best of luck.