Author Topic: Newspaper article- what would you do?  (Read 676 times)


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Newspaper article- what would you do?
« on: August 16, 2017, 03:07:56 PM »
[Background- in 16 days it will be 5 years for us. NG has been living with us for 3 years and the only reason we're not married is because I'm too scared to do it, which is a whole other post. My daughter was 9 when her dad died, she's now 14 and entering high school]

So my daughter is finishing up her Silver Award for Girl Scouts and getting ready to submit all the paperwork. One of the questions asks how she should be referred to in the paper "daughter of ___". She doesn't know what she should put. I tell her it's her choice, her options are: me or me and the late DH. Or she can even put me and NG. She thinks about it and wants to know if she can put "me and NG and the late DH". I say that I don't think that will fly. She gets a torn look, I tell her that NG won't be upset if she leaves him out, she looks relieved and asks if I'm sure. Then she says she hates "late" because he's not late he's dead. I say they probably really frown on saying "and the previously deceased DH". So she decides she's just my daughter.

I hate this. I hate that she has had to even think about whose daughter she is. I hate that it's socially unacceptable to say deceased instead of late. I hate that if she does get her silver award it'll look like she is the child of a single parent and not reflect that she had a wonderful, involved dad and has a great almost-stepdad. I'm thinking maybe I'll encourage her to change it to "me and NG, and the deceased DH"- though that makes it look like DH and I were divorced. What would you encourage your daughter to do? Or what has she done in a similar situation? I'm worried that someone (either at Girl Scouts or the newspaper) would change "deceased" to "late" and that will make my daughter super angry.


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Re: Newspaper article- what would you do?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 04:13:11 PM »
I'm worried that someone (either at Girl Scouts or the newspaper) would change "deceased" to "late" and that will make my daughter super angry.

Well, you really don't have any control over what the GS reviewer will do or, for that matter, the editor of that page of the newspaper. The paper will probably refer to whatever style guide they use regarding deceased/late. But, you could talk to everyone involved with the article and relay your daughter's wishes and ask them to honor them.

That is pretty much all you can do and hope for the best. They may just write it up verbatim and there will be no problem. 

There are so many family situations now that deviate from the traditional that most folks don't bat an eye with any description of family makeup or situation. Try not to worry about that if you are able.

As an example, when my son in the Navy was being vetted for his Top Secret clearance, the FBI agent in our home conducting it didn't even look up from his paperwork when my son asked my now wife, "Hey Mom, what was Mom's maiden name?" Related to your issue, my local paper wrote up my son for an award for exemplary actions while deployed overseas. They called to ask me family information and I told them please use "son of Mr. and Mrs. Mike XXXXX and the late T.P.". They printed it as I asked.

I'd tell your daughter to request whatever it is that gives her comfort.

Good luck - Mike
The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. (Proverbs 11:25)


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Re: Newspaper article- what would you do?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 07:40:22 PM »
Here you often see 'XX and XX (deceased), actually. For school applications and contacts I have put my name, my partner's name and added a note with her dad's name and the fact that he is dead. Not a fan of late either, though don't mind if others use it, I would have before. I would tell them you definitely don't want 'late', and if they can't respect that, it's a bit crap, frankly.


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Re: Newspaper article- what would you do?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2017, 12:17:28 AM »
I suppose I've had enough tragedy in my life not to really care. Using the term "late wife" doesn't bother me at all.

I've had a lot of loss in my life. Parents, pets, favorite stuff (kept getting stolen), siblings, wife... God forbid I lose my son too...

Death is a part of life, just like breathing out is a part of breathing in. One cannot happen without the other and when one happens, the other must follow.