Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thoughts on Writing an Obituary

With my father's death, I faced the hardest writing assignment I'd ever had.....writing his obituary. When grief is washing over you, penning a final tribute to a loved family member is not easy. If you are stuck and not sure what to do, take it one element at a time, include the decedent's:
  • full name,
  • age,
  • date of birth,
  • date of death,
  • residence,
  • place of birth (if different),
  • relationship status (married, partnered, widowed),
  • name of surviving family (parents, spouse/partner, children, etc.),
  • preceded in death by (list family who has died),
  • educational and vocational background,
  • memorial or funeral service date, time, and location,
  • whether there is a public burial,
  • organization if "in lieu of flowers" is being used, and
  • a personal touch (nickname, family memory, adjectives, poem, spiritual verse).
Start with the formula, and sprinkle in bits that bring out the unique life of the person you are paying tribute to.

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