What happens when your wife and girlfriend can’t agree on who should be mentioned?
Ripped from the headlines… of the obituary section?
A man named Leroy Black from Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey passed away last Tuesday at age 55 from lung cancer. And I know that thanks to not one, but two obituaries that ran in the Press of Atlantic City on Friday.
Why did Leroy get two obituaries? Because his wife and girlfriend couldn’t agree on what it should say.
The first obituary, for Leroy Bill Black, notes that he died “at home surrounded by his family” and “he is survived by his loving wife, Bearetta Harrison Black.”
The second obituary, for Leroy “Blast” Black, says he is survived by “his longtome [SIC] girlfriend, Princess Hall.”
Beyond that, the obituaries are basically similar. They feature the same exact photo, they both mention his son, they both note the same time and place for the funeral, they both redirect to the same website for condolences, and they both suffer from that website address’s length causing weird full justified spacing on their second-to-last line.
(His wife’s obit does, however, mention two additional children with different last names — suggesting there might be a *third* woman who was once a major part of Leroy’s romantic life. His legend just won’t stop growing.)
The funeral director who was handling Leroy’s arrangements confirmed the wife and girlfriend knew all about each other, they coordinated on the funeral plans, but they just couldn’t reach an agreement on who should get mentioned in the obituary. So rather than do a joint one that mentioned both of them (which would’ve been newsworthy as well), they each paid to have the obituary they felt to be appropriate.
The funeral was yesterday in Atlantic City. And while there’s no scientific way to measure awkwardness, if there were a tool to do so, I imagine it would’ve had a pretty significant reading.
But once any emotional wounds heal and the grief passes, I hope Leroy’s loving wife AND longtome girlfriend can both find some happiness in knowing that their dueling placements achieved a rare feat and, perhaps, the most grandiose goal of any obituary: They immortalized his legend.
He’s like the Paul Bunyan or Johnny Appleseed of having two families. Good on you, Blast.