On September 26 I lost my best friend (my person). I received a call from the Falmouth Hospital and was told that Steven Spitzer was dead. I went to the hospital and there I sat with my friend; I cried, I talked to him, but I could not do the one thing I wanted, to kiss him goodbye.
From the moment I received the call, I was in charge. I notified Steve’s brother, and then his boss.
In the next three days, I did what was needed. I dealt with Donor Services, the medical examiner’s office, and the funeral home. I asked one of Steven’s brothers to help write the obituary. I tweaked it, and sent it:
Steven Spitzer, 54, of East Falmouth, passed on September 26, 2019. Born in New Jersey, to the late Gloria and Donald Sr., Steven found his home on Cape Cod where he worked for many years as a Sales Representative for Inn Seasons Resorts. Steven is survived by his daughter, Ashley Nicole, Esther Ann Price (his person) and siblings Donald Jr. (Vicki), Michael, Debbie (Gregg) Hahne, Linda and Glenn (Steven), as well as many loving grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He will be remembered fondly by family, friends, and co-workers. A private memorial will be held on October 2nd.
This I what appeared in the Enterprise on October 4:
“Steven S. Spitzer, 54, of East Falmouth died September 26.
Born in New Jersey, he was the son of Gloria and Donald Spitzer Sr.
Mr. Spitzer worked for many years as a sales representative for Inn Seasons Resorts.
He leaves his daughter, Ashley Nicole Spitzer; five siblings, Donald Spitzer Jr., Michael Spitzer, Debbie Hahne, Linda Spitzer and Glenn Spitzer; and other family.
He was predeceased by his parents.
A private memorial was held on Wednesday, October 2.”
I was extremely upset at seeing this, so I called The Enterprise.
I spoke to The Enterprise on Monday morning, and I explained how I felt. I was informed that the newspaper has the right to change an obituary as it saw fit. I was asked how long I had known Steven, over two years, according to the newspaper, that time period did not constitute a relationship mentionable in an obituary. What right does a newspaper have to determine what a relationship is? Steven and I, in two-plus years, went through more together than some married couples do in 10 years or more.
The Enterprise suggested that I should have done an In Memoriam instead. I’m sorry, but I feel an obituary is the notification of death, and an In Memoriam is a tribute. Steve’s family and I wanted an obituary. I also explained to the paper that Steve’s family considered me family.
So again, I ask, what right does anyone have to change how a person’s death is reported in an obituary? An obituary is a way of expressing what the deceased meant to family, friends and co-workers. Nobody should have the right to change that.
Esther Ann Price