I'm dead! Give me money!

I'm a long-time reader of obituaries. (No, I have no idea why I'm so fascinated by them. I'm sure the psychiatrists in the audience would be glad to offer some explanations). Anyway, I've read obits for years and years -- decades, in fact.

Back in the old days (which are increasingly seeming like the GOOD old days), the families of the deceased might suggest memorial contributions to a favorite non-profit. Great idea, because after all, does anyone really need all those flowers?

But in the past two years, I've noticed a truly disturbing trend in the American Way of Death: the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to -- the family.

Now, okay, if the deceased is the sole breadwinner and leaves behind a spouse and seven kids, I can certainly understand that the survivors might need some financial assistance. Or if a child is suddenly orphaned by the death of both parents But that's rarely the case in the "give us money" obits. Sometimes the deceased is a child. Sometimes it's an elderly person. Sometimes it's an unmarried, unparenting adult.

But the survivors want MONEY.

What the HELL is the deal with this? It's bad enough that soon-to-be-marrieds now routinely ask wedding guests for dough (the lastest wrinkle in that nasty fad is posting a house plan at a website and asking people to pay for a window, door, or floor covering. But survivors of the recently deceased asking for money? Ewwwwwwwwww! I truly don't understand this.

So if anyone can explain it to me, well, I'd be thrilled to bits. Just don't expect me to endorse this new "custom."