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Monday, February 20, 2012

Reading Your Own Obit

Have you ever “Googled” yourself? I used to, periodically, to see if there were any reviews of Switched or if someone was selling bootleg copies of my book. But, I would get busy and forget to check so I set up an alert that sends emails any time my name or the name of my book comes up on the Internet. I know my name is fairly common, but I didn't expect to read that I died—five times in the past couple of weeks. That’s a little freaky.

I feel like Mark Twain protesting that “reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Apparently, five people named Diane Burton have recently passed away. Naturally, I checked the obits. Wrong middle names, wrong maiden names. Whew! They weren’t me.

Several years ago, I was at a conference in Chicago and the big to-do that weekend was how Romantic Times reported an author (who was attending) had died. No mistaken identity, either. She was such a good sport and had a good laugh over it. Three fellow authors who frequently performed musical parodies at conferences wrote one about her. It was an amusing finale to the conference.

I’m not making light of death. Having lost three close relatives within eighteen months of each other, I know how devastating it can be. Maybe joking about death makes it less fearful. Wasn’t there a comedian who said she read the obituaries each day and if her name wasn’t there she knew it was going to be a good day?

Anyway, I’m still here. And it’s a good day.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. So glad those obits weren't really you. Humor is a way of coping with deep loss or the threat of such. I'm a big fan of the MASH series where that dynamic was used often.

    All the best, Annette


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