Obits offer the dual ghoulish fascination of rubbernecking and peering ahead into your own future. Will you be the great-grandfather who expires at age 92 surrounded by loved ones? The gone-too-soon 60-year-old whose heart explodes as he walks out of his favorite deli? Or the 24-year-old hit by a train? The page normalizes death and dying by treating them like stock quotes or a Marlins box score. But even in the practiced death mill that is South Florida, there had to be some scattered cringes when this item appeared tucked on the obituary page earlier this year: "DeJoseph, Theresa, 75 of Plantation, FL died on January 19, 2005. $595 Cremation, Coral Springs." The cost of the final trip is always free, but at what price the ashes to ashes? About as much as a new flat screen TV, roughly.
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