Reading Obituaries Late

by Bob Schwartz

I picked up a year-old magazine and read the obituary of a writer I did not know had died.

It celebrated his talent and achievements, which I had occasionally enjoyed. I wasn’t a regular reader of his work, but I admired it.

There would be no newly-created work of his to read. To those who regularly read his work and who worked with him, it was a deep loss. For those who were still to discover his work, or like me had only dabbled in it, there was plenty of already published work to read, though we might or might not get around to it.

It would not have mattered had I read the obituary the week it was published instead of now. Maybe it would have come up in conversation at the time, but probably not. Maybe I would have noted it in something I wrote at the time, but also probably not.

He died about a year ago. Maybe I will go back and enjoy something he wrote, something I’d read before, or something I’d missed. We’ll see.