Family split over publication of brutal, and mysterious, obituary

It's fair to say not all of June Miller's relatives will be tending her grave.

A US newspaper has published one of the most brutal obituaries ever, and now the family of the woman it ‘memorialises’ wants to find out who’s behind it.

After relating in a normal fashion that 82-year-old Cornelia June Rogers Miller died on February 23, the obituary goes on to say that she “died alone after a long battle with drug addiction and depression”.

After a brief resumption of traditional pleasantries that set out Miller’s numerous grandchildren, the obituary goes on with,  “We are thankful for the life that was issued forth because of June. We wish she could have appreciated the abundance of life she was given”.

It then gives up all pretence of being the usual celebration of the deceased’s life.

“Drugs were a major love in her life as June had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life,” it says, adding that “her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed, and there will be no lamenting over her passing”.

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The memorial goes on to say that the family will remember the mostly sad and troubling times they spent with her, and that relatives will only miss what they never had i.e. “a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother”.

Then it closes with, “There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart”.

The obituary was published this week by the Cherokee Scout newspaper, in a town called Murphy in North Carolina. According to US reports, Miller lived in Florida but had a holiday home in Murphy. 

The woman’s son, Robert Miller, told ABC’s Channel 9 that he believed his sisters had written the scathing obit, although one sister denied the accusation when contacted by the news channel. He told ABC Channel 9 that he had sent the Cherokee Scout a new memorial piece, that it planned to publish this week.

For now, though, the less flattering one remains on the newspaper’s website.

How honest is too honest in an obituary?