This appeared one day last week in Dear Abby:
DEAR ABBY: I read the obituaries in our local newspaper every day to see if someone I know has died. But when I don't see any familiar name, I feel let down and disappointed. Is that weird? -- STILL ALIVE IN SAN DIEGO
Here's the heading for number 9 in the series of self-help questions posed in Walker Percy's Lost in the Cosmos:
(9) The Envious Self (in the root sense of envy: invidere, to look at with malice): Why it is that the Self--though it Professes to be Loving, Caring, to Prefer Peace to War, Concord to Discord, Life to Death; to Wish Other Selves Well, not Ill--in fact Secretly Relishes Wars and Rumors of War, News of Plane Crashes, Assassinations, Mass Murders, Obituaries, to say nothing of Local News about Acquaintances Dropping Dead in the Street, Gossp about Neighbors getting in Fights or being Detected in Sexual Scandals, Embezzlements, and other Disgraces
And "Abby"--actually not the original Abigail Van Buren, who was actually not herself the WASPy-sounding Abigail Van Buren but Pauline Esther Friedman, but rather Pauline's daughter Jeanne Phillips--replies as follows:
DEAR STILL ALIVE: People read the obituary section for various reasons, including the fact that some of the deceased have lived very interesting lives. Some do it hoping they won't find their own name listed. If they see the name of an acquaintance, they may feel sadness at the loss or sympathy for the family, knowing each death leaves a hole in someone's heart. But to feel "let down" seems to me like a lack of empathy, and in my opinion, it is weird.
Which I think Percy would also have enjoyed.