Died on This Day: Obits Online

On my web rounds, I periodically visit “Obit,” an online magazine that addresses issues of life, death and transition with intelligence and elegance. I don’t do this out of a morbid fascination with mortality, but because the site is beautifully designed and full of thought-provoking ideas. Here’s how the Obit editors describe their mission:

Death gives life its immediacy. Because we know it will end, we savor and value life all the more. Obit examines life through the lens of death. Whether it’s the loss of a person, a place, an object or an idea, life’s constant change presents an opportunity for examination, discussion and even celebration. By examining the transformations we face, we can understand how the past influences our time and our future. Obit aims to offer a forum for ideas and opinions about life, death, and transition that you will find nowhere else.

Obit's tone isn’t somber and grave. Today, for example, in the section titled “Died on the Same Day” the editors noted that both Aaron Spelling, the television producer, and Harriet, the 175 year-old tortoise reportedly collected by Charles Darwin himself, both died on June 23, 2006. They then gently point out the slight resemblance between the two, no disrespect.

What do you think?

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