Write Your Own Obituary

by K-Dean

Ask your local funeral home for a word count of a standard obituary. If yours is longer you will have to pay extra.

Who knows more about your life than you do? Have you ever thought about writing your own obituary? How would you summarize your life in roughly 500 words or less? You would need to think of the people you love most, your passions, your priorities and important events that occurred in your lifetime.

Writing your own obituary can be useful for more than the obvious reason. Firstly, by writing it yourself you won’t be burdening your family after you die. Sometimes families don’t know certain important details like when mom and dad were married, when they moved to Wisconsin or what organizations dad belonged to. A pre-written obituary will help in this situation. Secondly, writing your own obituary makes you acknowledge your own mortality – someday this obituary will be needed. Thirdly, since the obituary is a summary of your life to this point, you might take a good look at your life and really think about what you want to accomplish before your obituary is finalized.

So begin writing your own obituary, don’t get discouraged or overwhelmed by the idea, whatever you get down on paper will be of help to your relatives, after you pass away. If you need some inspiration or a push to get going, try reading other obituaries in your local papers or online to get ideas. The easiest part is writing down a list of loved ones you will be leaving behind. Then create a timeline of your life in chronological order so you don’t leave anything out. Write a list of your accomplishments that you want people to remember about you. This will help you get ideas for all the things you still want to accomplish in your life and, once accomplished, you can add them to your obituary. Include a photo of yourself that you really like, it could be an older photo or a more recent one, it’s your obituary, you can do what you want. Ask your friends and family for their input, they might have other ideas and opinions on accomplishments you didn’t realize were important. If you’re a jokester, why don’t you include some humor in your obituary? Your loved ones will appreciate it when they read your obituary and get a sense of the real you. The most important thing of all, don’t let your story go untold.

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