Honoring the Dead—on their own terms
Most obituaries and eulogies paint the dearly departed without color. This obituary is written in Technocolor. It's hard to read this account, without wanting to meet this “Jewish-Mexican-Redneck” matriarch. Tweet
When Renay Mandel Corren kicked the bucket...
obituary readers were both sad and delighted at what was inside.
A buddy of mine, Moose, sent me the following obituary from the Fayetteville Observer saying that he wanted me do something similar for him. (The Fayetteville newspaper killed the original link, so ours is to the same obituary as it appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.) Since he expected that I would precede him in death, he asked that I knock it out this weekend. Douché, my friend.
It’s not the obituary that I would give for my mother but it’s beautiful and hilarious in its own all-to-human terms.
The first sentence is a pitch perfect attention grabber:
El Paso, Texas— A plus-sized Jewish lady redneck died in El Paso on Saturday
Most obituaries and eulogies paint the dearly departed without color. This obituary is written in Technicolor.
A loving and caring son has created a new, honest and refreshing art form to honor the passing of an imperfect loved one.
Andy Corren, Renay’s “favorite son”—who just happens to be gay and and a New Yorker—has created a new, honest and refreshing art form to honor the passing of an imperfect loved one. It hard to read this accounting, without wanting to meet this “Jewish-Mexican-Redneck” matriarch.
The Fayetteville Observer is to be praised for publishing it. It’s hard to read it not to think it’s an Onion spoof. Here are some of its best lines:
“..the bawdy, fertile, redheaded matriarch of a sprawling Jewish-Mexican-Redneck American family has kicked it.”
“A more disrespectful, trash-reading, talking and watching woman in NC, FL or TX was not to be found.”
“…a model stay-at-home parent, a supermom, really, just the perfect PTA lady, volunteer, amateur baker and-AHHAHAA HA! HA! HA!”
“She played cards like a shark, bowled and played cribbage like a pro, and laughed with the boys until the wee hours, long after the last pin dropped.”
“Yes, Renay lied a lot. But on the plus side, Renay didn’t cook, she didn’t clean, and she was lousy with money, too.”
“Here’s what Renay was great at: dyeing her roots red, weekly manicures, dirty jokes, pier fishing, rolling joints and buying dirty magazines. She said she read them for the articles, but filthy free speech was really Renay’s thing.”
“There will be a very disrespectful and totally non-denominational memorial on May 10, 2022, most likely at a bowling alley in Fayetteville, NC. The family requests absolutely zero privacy or propriety.”
Andy, if you and your dysfunctional family would not mind, my buddy and I would be honored to to attend this “very disrespectful” memorial and raise a drink and bowl a few frames in your mother’s technicolor memory.
Your mother, Andy, you and yours are in our prayers. Sounds like you all need them.