Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Dolores Aguilar follow-up

Dolores' amazing obituary has been zipping around the Internet and even led myth-busting to verify its truth.
A reporter for the Daily Breeze contacted the woman who wrote the obituary, Aguilar's daughter, to ask her what inspired the caustic missive. She explained that her mom had been abusive and kept her children "unfed, poorly clothed and completely terrorized."
I simply cannot adequately express my love of Aguilar's obituary and her daughter's bravery in writing it.

9/23/08 postscript: I feel compelled to write more on this since I get easily 15 hits a day just from people searching for more information about the Dolores Aguilar obituary. Just today, someone commented that they don't consider Dolores' daughter's actions brave at all.
Mostly, I was fascinated that someone would have the guts to write such an honest obituary. My husband and I recently buried his grandmother, who was a spunky lady we loved very much, but if you think we were completely honest in her obituary, you'd be wrong. Of course we wrote honestly, but we didn't put everything in there. A completely honest obituary would have mentioned the heartache my husband's tiny family has endured over the last two and a half years, after enduring the death of my husband's mother, and then the rapid decline of his grandmother as she fell into the grips of dementia. She was miserable, and we were miserable. A truly honest obituary might have mentioned how toward the end she didn't trust anyone, including family, or how she wrote agonized notes to herself over and over that said the same things, in her effort to remember everything.
I know this is different than Dolores' situation, as she was apparently unliked by her family due to what they call a lifetime of abuse and neglect. Is it brave and noble to write such an honest obituary or shameful and vindictive? I can't honestly tell you.
I do know, as a former reporter and someone who's always been obsessed with obituaries, this is a highly unusual one. And it's managed to spark a ton of interest, and if anything the interest seems to grow by the day, despite news agencies having dropped the story. It's been fleshed out, as we say, and there's nothing more to say about it.
Some people, though, seem to still have something to say about it. If you've searched for this information and found it and you have a thought about Dolores' scathing obituary, please feel free to post it here.


  1. Bravery is saying it to the living, not about the dead. So I can't agree.

  2. i am her daughter and i have read many comments since i wrote the obit - i really had no idea that it would go so far - this person says "bravery is saying it to the living" - well then i guess i'm very brave - because i did tell her many times over the years how much damage she did and continued to do to her children. it made no difference and it was her wishes she not have a service - i know it seems like her children didn't want one but my niece was honoring her wishes - i would liked to have convinced her otherwise for the sake of my mother's grandchildren and great children since they never really witnessed the mother we knew growing up - and it might have been a time for all of us to finally come together and be a family again - my obit didn't cause disagreement among myself and my sisters they all agreed "it was the truth" but in the end it didn't bring us together to talk amongst ourselves and try to move on - i'm sorry for that because my mother, indeed, spend a life time keeping us fighting amongst ourselves - it's frustrating to read all the comments that come from people who spin this around to make it sound like we were spoiled revengeful childred - but i know and my sisters know what we went through.

    1. I read this obituary and I am surprised that someone could write such a obituary. However, when I finished reading it I said to myself this is like my mother.

      I don't have the nerve to post something like this. I'd rather sweep it under the rug, then to publicly humiliate what's left of my family. On the other hand I commend you for writting such a truthful obituary. Because this obituary helped me see what not to be as a mother and the buck stops here. Unfortunately, your famy endured so much pain, and in hopes of getting my mom to realize the damage she continues to do to my family. I will send her this obituary and maybe she will look farther then herself and me d her ways before she is left alone. I pray for your family and hope that the emotional damage can be healed and a new family can be reborn. As for myself, I know what I don't want to be like. Best wishes.

  3. Virginia - thank you so much for commenting. I hope this helps answer some of the questions people seem to have about the obituary.

  4. I thank you for your honesty, i have the same problem with my mother and my sisters and its heart wrenching. My x husband pits our children against each other as well.. whats wrong with these parents? I know that my mom loves to see the drama she caused and feel like the hero when she can "fix" it..

  5. I really hope that those who read this obituary consider the way they treat their friends and family members, especially their children. They will be the ones to have the last word...

  6. Honesty is the best policy. Being a victim of abuse by my mother, I totally understand. I hope you and your family are filled with many blessings.