The Resident Judge Reckons 30 Dec 2009

Is Santa actually the Grim Reaper in drag?  What is it with Christmas and death?  As you may know, one of my daily activities is to carefully peruse the death notices in the newspaper.  I reassure myself that people who read The Age live to a ripe old age because most of the notices are for elderly people: I do acknowledge, however, that my reasoning may be a bit suspect here.

But did you see how many death notices there are in today’s paper??  A whole page of them!!  There are a few recording deaths before Christmas, but most of them are for deaths in the days immediately following.  Come to think of it, my aunt died on Christmas Day, waiting to be picked up to go to church- rather a positive, engaged way to go really, although very difficult for her family.  But  I don’t think I’ve seen a whole page like this before!  I wonder if there’s a statistical correlation between Christmas and death rates, or whether it’s a function of classified deadlines (no pun intended).

6 responses to “The Resident Judge Reckons 30 Dec 2009

  1. The Age death notices are not a reliable source for the death of people. There is only one reason to pay for the Herald Sun, and that is for the death notices.

    There may be a few people who ‘hold on’ until after christmas, but it is mostly hospitals who hold off with medication until after christmas, as experienced by our family last year. It was well planned by the hospital. We had christmas day to see step father and then he was gone the next day. No criticism from me.

    • Yes, that would make sense , because many of the people were elderly, in nursing homes and from the notices, had been ailing for a long time.

  2. The father of one of our friends has just had a heart attack at a family Xmas dinner in a restaurant and died – Christmas is a very stressful time of year for many people. Suicide rates go up, so does domestic violence.

    • I wondered about suicide, too. Car accidents as well. But I must say that I hadn’t noticed it quite as obviously before.

  3. This study is a few years old now, but confirms what you noticed

    although another study said it was a New Years spike not a Christmas one (that in England)

  4. Yep, medical staff will go out of their way to keep someone going beyond a noted day, be it Father’s/Mother’s Day, Xmess Day, a birthday, etc.
    Also, stress is a big factor at times.

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