Day 27: Access Granted, Coverage Denied

Oct 26, 2011 | 5 comments

Rainbow in the Sky

A rare morning rainbow graced the western sky on the day of (name omitted)’s funeral. At the event, I asked the family for permission to witness and write about the funeral, and they agreed, pending review of the story. I wrote a lovely post that the family got to read in advance, something that no one had yet asked for.

Just got the note this morning saying no. My correspondent wrote: “This is very nice, but what is your purpose for writing this article? I believe it was very inappropriate for you to approach me about doing a story about my Mother’s funeral. The funeral service was a very emotional and somber time for myself and my family. I am not interested in publishing this article.”

I wrote back: I’m sorry you do not approve of the story. My purpose in writing about funerals during the 30 days between September 30 and October 30 is three-fold:

• Illustrate the many creative ways people celebrate the lives of those they love.
• Help reduce a fear of talking about death – something that will happen to all of us.
• Show that funerals are a life cycle event much like a wedding, best planned more than a few days ahead of time.

A removal request happened after one of the events I covered during the 30 Funerals in 30 Days Challenge last year. One out of 30 seems to be par for the course. Only three more to go.

Did I do wrong? What do you think about this experience?

A Good Goodbye