You have probably never thought about sitting down to write your own obituary. It sounds like a somber task, but there are many benefits to you and your family. First, you know more about your life than anyone else. If you write your own obituary you can be sure to include all of the information you want. Second, writing your own obituary will remove the burden from your family. Contacting friends and relatives to gather information about your life can be a time consuming and difficult task during an emotional time. Lastly, taking the time to write your obituary gives you a chance to reflect on the life you have lived. You will get an opportunity to list all of your accomplishments and plan for future goals you have yet to achieve.
1. DEATH ANNOUNCEMENT
The beginning of the obituary does not provide room for creativity. It announces the death and includes basic biographical information. When writing your own obituary we recommend that you make up a humorous cause of death and a date unrealistically far in the future to remove some of the morbidity from the task. You will be able to include your place of birth and likely location of death.
The second section of the obituary is where you can get creative. You can write about your life history, including education, career, military service, volunteer work, marriage and more. You will also want to write about your hobbies, interests, any clubs or associations you belong to, as well as any major awards and accomplishments. We recommend that you also spend some time thinking about your future goals. Choose a few goals you hope to achieve and include them here as well.
Start by listing any relatives that are predeceased. This could include your grandparents, parents or other relatives. Next, you will want to list all of your surviving relatives. You won’t be able to write this section with 100% accuracy, but you can include all of your relatives that are currently living. Typically family is written in the order of: spouse, children and their spouse, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings and their spouse, nieces, nephews and other relatives.
4. FUNERAL SERVICE
Instead of leaving this section blank, it can be a good opportunity to think about what type of funeral service you would like to have. If you want a traditional funeral service and burial service, then include that here. Or, maybe you want a small private ceremony with close family and then a reception or wake, which includes all friends and relatives. This information will help your family plan the memorial that you wanted
The final section of the obituary includes information on memorial contributions. Do you have a favorite charity or organization? Choose one or two where you would like friends and family to send donations in your name. In addition, the end of the obituary may include a significant quote, verse, phrase or hymn. If you have some words that are meaningful to you, include them here. Lastly, you can provide your friends and family with a location to leave you condolences. You could provide your family instructions on where you would like your online memorial created and what you would like included.
Updated: May 4, 2012