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​​June Cafiso 

Mom's high school graduation photo, 1952. 

Some obituaries are trickier than others to write. We love our family members but we may have complicated relationships with them or they may have complicated relationships with the world. Even so, we are still committed to writing respectful tributes. 


June Cafiso's obituary exemplifies that. My mother, a beautiful woman, was not a particularly happy person, especially in the last years of her life. She also suffered from bipolar disorder. In writing her obituary, I tried to highlight accomplishments she would be most proud of as well as share a realistic portrait of this individual, our mother.


I reveal this to you to let you know I am intimately familiar with how challenging some obituaries are to write. It does not make me uncomfortable; I only want to brainstorm with you on how we can make it the best we can, while still being authentic and kind. That often means simply omitting details or elaborating more about better days.  


"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."

~ Blanche Dubois/A Streetcar Named Desire


How can we pay our greatest respects to someone you loved who was a complicated individual? 

Mom, 1994.