Friday, April 16

Old Versus New

Plowing through the obituaries every day, just like my mom used to do, I came across yet another photo that didn't match the person. What I mean is the guy was 83 years old, but the photo used in the obit was of a very young soldier - probably 60+ years ago.

What do you think? Should people use recent photos? Or none at all? Or do what this man's family did and use an old, but favorite photo?

Mr. k and I have that conversation from time to time. We favor recent photos of the deceased, but we know that many people do not have a recent photo that they would appreciate seeing in the newspaper or online. My favorite photo was taken when I was a college junior; but how dumb would that look if it was used at my death (no matter how many more years I live)?

The only photo of me that I like from current times was taken in 2008, outside a Shoney's restaurant in the Charleston area, along with four local bloggers, three of whom I had just met. (Buzzardbilly, Evil Twin's Wife, Blond Goddess and Inanna). It was easy enough to (digitally) crop my face out of the group photo, and I use it as my icon (well, half of it). But since that photo was taken, I've aged two years and grown my hair a bit longer than it was then.

I know what I'll do!! I'm going to Charleston for a 'decade' reunion of my high school classmates this coming August. We will have to have another blogger meet-up and maybe the new photos taken will be good enough! I love killing two birds with one stone, don't you?!


20 comments:

srp said...

I don't want a picture or an obit or a funeral or a casket or a grave marker. I want to be cremated and then scattered in my rose garden (if it turns out as I hope it will... the rose garden that is)

Kay Dennison said...

I'll be looking forward to that photo. I need some new photos, too!!! My new driver's license photo is semi-decent -- thank God! At least it doesn't look like I belong on America's 10 Most Wanted! LOL

Gilly said...

I must admit that the face I use on my blogger page is one of me taken at Christmas 3 years ago! I think I had been enjoying a big meal and wine! But at least I look cheerful, and not much younger than I do now, I hope!

I'll pass on the obit photographs - we don't have them on the announcements, and the obits rarely make the local papers, if they do its usually a recent pic.

Tabor said...

I think a photo of any age is appropriate. We live full and rich lives and a photo of us at 20 is just as valid as one when we are at death's door. It should be one that the family and the deceased like and want and vanity should have nothing to do with it. It is about the face that we think represents our true self.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Yay! I'm free any time you make it to town! :-)(and I love that picture of you as well).

Pat said...

I think people should be remembered in their hey day before they get decrepit and pathetic. And I'm being cremated also

oklhdan said...

I haven't given much thought to that question but I guess I leave it up to the families. It's how they wish to remember the loved one I suppose. I wish to be cremated and my ashes kept in the base of a birdbath. I want my son-in-law to think of me whenever he has to weed eat around the birdbath! ha

Arkansas Patti said...

I actually like the pictures of the deceased as the young vital beings they once were, not the wore out old carcass people end up being towards the end.
I personally plan to just slip away quietly and will go the way of srp.

Granny Annie said...

I'm with srp. Except at the scattering of my ashes I would hope my minister of almost half my life, would say a prayer for my loved ones and credit me with some contribution in this lifetime.

LL Cool Joe said...

We don't tend to have announcements like that in the paper. At my father-in-laws funeral recently, the order of service had a recent photo of him on the front and then one of him as young man on the back. I liked that because you could see the man in his prime, with his life in front of him as well as the more recent one of him when he was ill.

Ginnie said...

I've often wondered about the photos used in Obits. But I think it's the family that chooses the picture and it's what they want to remember...so it's OK with me.

Gene said...

Too bad there can't be two (or more) photos. One would be recent and the other when the person was younger. The younger photo is for those folks reading about someone they knew earlier but have perhaps not seen in years. Even in our small town I lose track of people I "knew" at one time, ie parents of our children (now in their 50s) whom we saw at school functions in the past but have no contact with recently.

Grannymar said...

UK Broadsheets that print obits (usually at the weekend) often use those old photos. I have mixed feelings when reading of some person in their eighties or nineties, Pity there cannot be two smaller photos - one old and one new.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I read the obits too Judy...and I've noticed the same thing. I guess it all depends on what the family wants to do...

I hate pics of myself...especially these days; but I'd like to get a few decent ones just in case I need one. Problem is...the camera can only do it's job...it can't give me a beauty make-over. Hugs, Joy

tiff said...

I like the 2 photo idea - never thought of it.

For my obit photo, should I choose to pass away at some point, will be of me in my 30's, when I was mature but not old. Now, I have to go see if I HAVE any photos from that era. Methinks they were all of the kids! :)

Darlene said...

The reason for a photo in an obit should be to identify the person for a peson who knew the deceased, but not their name. How could anyone tell who died from a 50 year old photo?

Shephard said...

Obituary photos...
Maybe it doesn't hurt to go to a professional photographer while you're vital and happy. Have 50 or 100 photos taken, and have a nice photo of yourself you like.
Why not? Why shouldn't we pay money to have someone take a photo that makes us feel better about ourselves?
~S :)

Granny Annie said...

I already commented on this but had to come back and add a funny (?) story. Ron always reads his hometown newspaper and often he finds the obituary of one of his classmates. He was concerned because he had gone a long time now without one of his classmates being listed which caused him to believe he is the last.

Star said...

Are you going to share with classmates that you are posing for your obit photo?

amarkonmywall said...

I love your profile picture. I have no pictures of myself that I like, except, you know- the couture series with the owl hats. I'm kinda with Roxanne- when it's done it's done. And forget the photos-I'm looking forward to seeing you in person in the near future.