DEAR ABBY: How lucky we are to be living in West Virginia. The newspapers here, as a matter of policy, do not publish the cause of death in their obituaries. I understand that in some states the cause of death is required. A friend who works at the local mortuary told me that a newspaper editor in another state refused to print an obituary unless "cause of death" was disclosed.
Abby, why would this information be important to the general public? The friends and relatives of the deceased know the cause of death without having it in print for all the world to see. -- N.J.G. IN WHEELING
DEAR N.J.G.: The cause of death is not the business of the public, but some newspaper editors feel that no obituary is complete unless it is included.
When the cause of death is a suicide, some obituaries disclose the details: "suicide by hanging," "suffocation," "overdose," "shotgun to the head," "slashed wrists," etc.
Bless those sensitive editors who show compassion and report deaths without disclosing facts that may be painful to the survivors. The good Lord knows they have already suffered enough.