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Details Of A Scandalous Affair Published In A Man’s Obituary

Last Saturday a 63 year old man, Bob Caldwell died of a heart attack. On Sunday “The Oregonian” newspaper ran an obituary on the man saying that he had died of a heart attack while in his parked car. The obituary went on to say that Bob was survived by his wife and three daughters. With that, all was fine.

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On Monday they actually ran a “correction” to the obituary informing the public that Bob had actually suffered a heart attack as a result of having “the relations” with his 23 year old mistress. They then went on to give the details of how Bob and the girl met a year ago and that their relationship seemed to be based on sex for financial assistance.

So I ask you now, did anyone need to know that? Does the widow and his three daughters have to bear the embarrassment, the questions, the looks from strangers even as they try to grieve their husband and father? A man whom despite this indiscretion more than likely loved and provided for them for years. Is this how we honor the dead in our society now?

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There isn’t a person out there who has not done things they are not proud of. Do we need to have it plastered in the paper when we die so that the only people who suffer from this news is the loved ones who survive us? The public’s hunger for scandal and dirt has gotten out of control. The media’s willingness to feed that hunger to make money and disguise it as journalism in a world where people have a “right to know” is disgusting. We may indeed have a right to know, but I’d rather it be based on what we need to know. No one, especially this man’s family NEEDED to know this.

By the way, Bob worked for “The Oregonian” for thirty years, most recently he ran the editorial section. After 30 years of service to the paper, I’m sure he would have preferred a watch.

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