May 13, 2024
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May 13, 2024
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Obituaries Can Sometimes Be a Good Laugh

I realize that this is not a topic that most would expect me to discuss but as my grandchildren for sure can tell you that when I think something is funny I can laugh and laugh and laugh (and so can they, primarily at me). I do not know if it is a Montreal thing but especially for those who have moved away—a daily, semi-weekly or weekly activity after you have reached a certain age (I would say 50) is to check the Paperman website. Most Jews in Montreal use the services of Paperman for their funerals and afterlife procedures. There is actually only one other Jewish funeral home in Montreal which caters primarily to the chassidishe velt, and it is known as Chesed Shel Emes. Aside from everything else, one insists on payment at the time of the funeral and the other sends a bill after the shloshim. (Guess which one). Although I have to say that I was not in any state just a few hours after my beloved Mordechai died when a call came in from Gutterman and Musicant asking me for my credit card. I was totally in a state of shock. When we lived in Montreal that was definitely not the case.

Back to the levity which I intended for this article. Obviously it is shocking and heartbreaking to read of the passing of someone that you know. In any case, if someone would have been close to us we would have been informed of their passing prior to reading it in the newspaper. For me, when I see the names of people that I knew as acquaintances, in passing, through our children, friends and families; names of people who we knew from using their places of business in retail or whatever it is always a shock. It stirs the memory of many thoughts from years gone by.

Recently I was reading an obit in The New York Times and it read as follows: “Beloved father and best friend of Froo Froo—missed until they meet again in doggie heaven. Another winner, leaving behind devastated pooch Peanut who will never be able to sleep comfortably again, leaving. Sweet Pea, her beloved companion and confidante.

All of you dog lovers—forgive me! You have got to admit that these are pretty funny and how in a million years can one compare the grief over a pet to that of a spouse, child etc. For me when I read such a thing it causes one of those moments that my grandchildren would prefer not to know me. When Bubbie giggles it’s not for a sec.

I guess that for me I can no way put into proper perspective comparing a pet animal to a grieving family member. And then the messages that people write, “I haven’t seen George in 42 years but never in my entire life have I ever met anyone as special as he.” “We were friends in the playground in Baron Byng High School—what a ball player.” “She always put her parents before her parents and children. What a daughter.” Only in Montreal, “She was in the arena every Saturday night taking her kids skating.” People mean well but sometimes the things that they write are more about themselves than about the deceased. “We are in Ft. Lauderdale now; we just arrived in Israel; on a cruise to Alaska and thinking of you.” Really thank you so much and go enjoy the fun! Is it necessary to tell everyone where you are?

I have been wanting to write on this subject for a long time so I hope that now it is out of my system. We received unbelievably touching memories and notes. I will never forget how much they meant to me. Maybe people should learn to be slightly more thoughtful and I apologize to pet owners that think I am evil. I just have a difficult time comparing a pet to a human!


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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