Obituaries: Now Featuring Emoji

A woman in Spain proved that there is no more fitting tribute to the dead than a bright yellow winking face

Feel free to stick out your tongue at people from the beyond. — oberart / Getty Images
Jun 01, 2016 at 4:21 PM ET

Emojis are so essential to the way we communicate that it was only a matter of time before they made their way into obituaries. And now it’s happening: last week the death notice for a 75-year-old grandmother in Barcelona featured the charming face of this guy 😜 , which her family felt was a fitting tribute.

It was Carmen Bustamante Barango’s favorite emoji. Her relatives say she delighted in using it during their chats in WhatsApp, and who can blame her? It is one of the best—cheerful, goofy, and versatile. Her son, Roman Zabal, told El Pais that she gave her family strict instructions on how to craft her obit: “She told us that if we used any religious symbol, she would come back to life and look for us.” The newspaper complied—lest they be haunted too—marking the first time an emoji was used for such an occasion.

It definitely won’t be the last. And perhaps someday, obituaries will be written entirely in emoji. Imagine how easy it would be to just publish 👵🏽 🏽➡👼 and include few 💔 💔 💔 and maybe a 🌮 and a 💅 for good measure. While we may not have reached that point yet, it’s never too early to plan for an all-emoji future. So start thinking about what emoticon you want on your tombstone. 👻? 🍕?