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Mirror, Candles, FlowersTraditionally an obituary is a news article that serves as a notice of death and a brief account of a person’s life. Usually obituaries for people of significance appear in major newspapers, focusing on the highlights and other positive details of their life. Obituaries are often included in funeral programs, providing information about the deceased. Many news organizations create prewritten or pre-edited video obituaries for immediate publishing upon news of the death of prominent figures. These premade pieces are usually very detailed, authoritative and substantial. Don’t you deserve to have the same? As part of your death planning, you can create your own obituary in advance. Here’s what you should know.

Getting Started

The idea of writing your own obit may be daunting. After all, this isn’t just a blurb of 50 words or less. This is an account of your life that people will read after you’ve passed on. You won’t be there to fill in the details, so this is your chance to give your loved ones the full story directly from the horse’s mouth. Start from the beginning of your history with the facts and move on from there. The important thing is to get started, but the good thing is that you don’t have to finish it today. Your story isn’t complete, so don’t feel pressured to write it all down now.

Including More Than Just the Facts

Your obit is not your resume. While it should include certain facts, such as your full name, date and place of birth, other major milestones and family information, it’s also a eulogy that should involve anecdotes and other stories of interest to your loved ones. Ask yourself, “What would I want others to know and/or remember most about me?” You can find writing prompts online to get your creative juices flowing. You could even solicit opinions from loved ones about their impressions of you and your life. It might even be helpful to think of your obituary as a condensed personal memoir.

Describing Yourself in Three 

If you’ve ever had to interview for a job or participate in a professional icebreaker, you may have been asked to describe yourself in three words. Think about three words or more that could be used to summarize your life up to this point. You’re not limited to words either. Are there three fictional characters in media or literature that you relate to on a deeper level? Maybe there are three songs, albums or movies that reflect your personality and perspective.

Finding Inspiration

Consider reading obituaries or Wikipedia articles about people you respected or admired. Don’t plagiarize, but you may be inspired on how to talk about your life, your loves and the lessons that you’ve learned up to this point. Because your story is ongoing, eulogy goals can be future goals. Think about the things you want to do, see and be, and live intentionally, meaningfully and accordingly. Your obit is not just about your history but your legacy as well.

Making Updates 

Don’t forget to make updates to your obituary as time progresses. Major life changes such as marriage, children, moving and more should be noted in your ongoing story. Keep in mind that you can always make updates to your account, especially as your perspectives evolve and shift. Revisit the big and small moments and feel free to make changes based on new information, a better understanding or a viewpoint not previously considered.

Writing your own obit in advance is not morbid. It’s an opportunity for you to recount your life and the things that matter most. Eulogizing yourself can inspire you to make the most of the rest of your days. Developing your obituary also takes the burden off those who will mourn you, making it an act of love.

Category: Funeral


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