Newsworthy and Noteworthy Deaths

Do you read the news everyday? Do you get the news the old fashioned way in printed format, stuffed in a plastic bag which has been thrown somewhere near your back door? Or, do you read the news on-line while sitting with your computer or Ipad sipping hot coffee before heading out to work? Or do you get red alerts from CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, or some other news outlet flashing on your smartphone? Or, do you read the news through Buzzfeed, StumbleUpon, Twitter or some other daily news app?  Or, do you listen to NPR on the radio while weaving in and out of the morning commute traffic? In whatever way, shape, or form of how you get your daily news, does it seem reasonable to say that there is always news about death?

The December 5th CNN news headlines included these following stories: "Man kills wife, son with crossbow, then self" "Autopsy: Impact and fire killed Paul Walker" (of "Fast and Furious" movie fame) "Official: U.S citizen killed in Libya" "Bear suspected in attack captured, killed" "Woman unknowingly tweets husband's death" The last story is really quite tragic. A woman, who likes to tweet daily about traffic in and around her hometown, passed a nasty car accident and starting tweeting about how horrible it was- only to find out later that it was her husband who had died in the car crash.  So sad! Yet, each of these stories probably triggered different responses from you, the reader.   When reading the news do you also read the obituaries? Do you think about whether the tag line provides a glimpse of the "essence" of the deceased? Or do you think about what age they were when death occurred and whether you are near that age? Do you think about how they died or where they were at the time of death?  Furthermore, do you ever think about how you would wish for your own death to happen?  These questions are not intended to be morbid.  But they are intended for you to think about more practical things such as planning for the inevitable. I thought about whether or not the woman tweeting about the car accident had had any in-depth conversations with her husband about planning for death, including his wishes for burial; or whether or not she knows all of his passwords or even the combination to the safe in the house, and whether he had enough life insurance.  The last CNN beaking news story of December 5, 2013 rang out loud and clear and was broadcast on every news outlet around the world: "Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid icon and father of modern South Africa, dies" Rest assured, at age 95, Nelson Mandela had his affairs in order. At least, let's hope so. His obituary should be newsworthy!   Please don't wait until you are 95 to start your end-of-life plan!