The emerging social norm is that, yes, it is okay to speak badly of the dead. Here are many more details from Andrew O'Reilly at Fox News.
Until recently, the obituary had been a very rigid genre in communications. The tone and content were all positive. What had been known to be negative in the eyes of society was positioned and packaged in euphemisms. An example would be alluding to the deceased's "overcoming obstacles" or "bringing special joy to the family."
The only time I had bunked into a negative in official commentary about the dead was at a memorial at a Jewish temple in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the 1970s.
I had accompanied a friend as moral support. The man had been her uncle and she hated him for very solid reasons.
The rabbi explicitly said, "X had been a difficult man."
My eyes bugged. The takeaway, I assumed, was acceptance of the darkness in the human race. A former English major, I had done my Shakespeare. "Cankered in the grain" is a central meme in Shakespearean drama. The Roman Catholic Church calls it "original sin."
Later, I asked my friend how she felt about that bit of outing of his cruel personality. She shrugged. Obviously, the rabbi hadn't thrown enough shade.
Today, my friend would be rallying other family members to publish a scathing obituary.
In my coaching of some lawyers over-50, what is often keeping them stuck is rage associated with their family of origin. They can't escape that looping. Now, the revenge obituary can help set them free.
Meanwhile, here, free for lawyers to click open, print out, and read is my new book on outsmarting a comfort zone Download Over50OutsmartingYourComfortZone.
Contact Jane Genova email@example.com.