Friday, 22 August 2008

KREZIP: "I'll Be Gone"

Perth (Australia) There must have been a few hundred of those small little messages, one below the other, tiny building bricks of straight newspaper columns. Printed in black and white, the colour of mourning on the colour of hope. A name, in bold, then a few lines in memory of the person who passed away. A spouse, children, friends, family, colleagues. Small words capturing big stories. Short sentences, telling long lives.

Newspapers around the world do have obituaries, yes. But then they usually come in a box, with a name, the name of relatives, a picture. They always seem to comply with some unwritten, universal rules of how to write them in a typical, formal yet appropriate style. They balance on that fragile line between announcing mere cold facts about the deceased and the attempt of those who are left behind to balm their sorrow by expressing the warm memory they treasure.

So until I grabbed the newspaper from the wall in this Australian bistro, I had never seen this style of messages in a newspaper before. At least not in this format, a few pages in between the real estate announcements and the classified ads for second hand cars. “We will always remember you.” I am lucky that I have not yet lost anybody, who truly meant something to me, to death. I am sure it is not easy to deal with. “One year since you have left us, but we still think of you every day. Frank and Wilma.” After you die, will your beloved remember your birthday or the date you passed away? And then another one. “Finally rest. Dad”, I read. Well, I guess so. Turn to the next page. “Total relaxation.” Yes, I believe that must be how you feel when you are dead. But hey…this is another section already: the one for escort services…

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