Rituals of the dead
He checked the obits in the New York Times every morning, figuring if he wasn't in there he could go on with his day. Some old men check their pulse in the morning to make sure they're alive, but he looked at the obits.
He'd always wanted to have a full obiturary in the New York Times. Then he'd know he'd made it. He'd acheived. So every morning, for five years, he checked the paper.
He had followed this morning ritual ever since he died.