Recently ran across the obituary, likely from the Middletown (Ohio) Journal, of my distinguished grandfather, Charles H. Murray. No factual surprises for me in the copy, but what a headline!
Talk about blaming the victim! Talk about burying the lead! I mean, a fella occupies a stressful job leading a community for decades through the Great Depression and World War II in the smog of a steel town—without blood-pressure medication, margarine or even a surgeon general’s warning on his pack of Chesterfields or his bottle of Old Grandad.
And the headline is, Charles Murray “Succumbs”?!
Man lived more than 27,000 consecutive days, most of them productive—he used to ask my dad, when my dad was a little kid, “Did you strike a blow today, Tom? Did you strike a blow?!”—then dies one day of throat cancer, and the story is that he “succumbs”?
The headline should be, “Finally!”
I wish I could point out with a smile that this is just old-timey headline-writing that’s now entirely out of date.
Except we’re still reading things like, “She lost her battle with cancer.”
Generation after generation, the living do seem to have the hardest time with death.