I have never liked obituaries. Biographies? Yes. Complete histories? Of course.
But obituaries? The limitations of the form have always bothered me. And reducing something as complicated as a human life, rendering it into an easy-to-read piece on the train seems almost sinful.
Yet obituaries of great lives produce some awfully fine and thoughtful writing. But subjecting the dead to a writer's whim, taking a few details from a life or an anecdote and using these to pin the dead to common memory like a butterfly on a board? It's always seemed rather monstrous.
If obituaries are often incomplete, just consider Twitter, and having your life and your honor subject to the mad barking of anonymous dogs.
Why am I thinking this way? I've been at several funerals lately. Good and kind people of my parents' generation, the Greatest Generation, are passing on. The golf balls tucked neatly into an uncle's coffin, sports tickets, a last letter to grandma.
They're remembered by those of us who loved them and we'll tell their stories again and again around our kitchen tables.
But what of the public dead, those who leave their mark and make a name, and then are subject to slurs when they close their eyes for good?
It is happening to
She was America's grandmother with those pearls and her white hair and that beautiful weathered face, the face of a woman who lived a life with profound character.
And on the train into
"The First Lady Who Ran the Family That Ran the Country" linked to excellent piece on
A gracious and kind farewell by the Women's March Twitter account -- a photo of
They ticked off her sins. She loved being a wife and mother and wanting to stay at home. She said some things about the refugees from Hurricane Katrina coming to
Journalists complied, terrified lest they be branded as racists, and so much for the notion of free speech. Yet what were the people fleeing from Katrina if not refugees seeking shelter from the storm?
No one lives a life without saying something they regret, unless of course, you live as some hateful insect, crawling along the baseboards of social media, a cartoon head as your sigil.
She had those pearls and the smile and that white hair, and yes, a patrician demeanor. But only a fool could look at those eyes twinkling, and not see the strong woman behind the face, a woman who spent her life in politics, and who could probably cut out your heart with a butter knife to protect her family or her country.
She'd do it with a smile.
The hard American left -- to be distinguished from liberals -- hates her. The left is all about hatred now, about deconstruction, about scraping away the past in an iconoclastic Orwellian frenzy.
And so warriors of the left treated compliments paid to the memory of this gracious lady with anger. In ages past, they might scribble anonymously on bathroom walls. Now they use Twitter.
Some of the most distasteful tweets came from
In barely literate fashion, this shaper of impressionable young minds displayed her venomous hatred.
This is the left. Understand them. They feel a tribal duty to visit hatred upon the mother for what the son did to
I'd much rather think of
"At the end of your life," said
She died at home, surrounded by family, her husband -- the first boy she ever kissed -- by their children and their grandchildren. A life well lived.