Funeral Services: Considering Your Obituary

How do we sum up our lives, or the lives of those we love, in a couple paragraph’s? Everyone is the same…We’re born. We live. We Die. What is it that we want those who love us to remember about us? Do we want to tell a story of our accomplishments with work or education, or maybe we are more quiet about our triumphs. We all have them. In a poem called “The Dash” by Linda Ellis, we are brought into contemplation about the lives we live now. The words help us to pause and think. What is important now may not be important later on. So, what do we want people to know about us? Do we mention our gifts, skills, and talents? Will it be humorous or serious?

Things to consider when writing an obituary:

  • With the cost of advertising in newspapers consistently going up, anymore it’s common to see a family write two versions of an obituary. The shorter version for publishing in the newspaper with the final line directing readers to the funeral home’s webpage where they can read a more detailed, longer version. Our mortuary does not charge for placing an obituary on our webpage. Family and friends are also able to leave condolences for others to read.
  • Gather information needed. This may take more time than you may think. Contacting family to verify accuracy is common. If this can be done ahead of time, stress can be kept at a minimum. This information may include family names, places lived, education, awards, and hobbies.
  • What do you want the reader to know? Generalities or specifics? Will the mood of the obituary be somber or humorous?
  • Have you considered an “In lieu of flowers” request? Some families choose this if certain charities/organizations were an important part of the deceased or important to the family in the final days of their lives.

Give it some thought now when you’re not under pressure. Gather the information and ask for help. Try writing your own. No one knows you better than you.