Many individuals couldn’t possibly bring themselves to writing their own obituaries. This is perfectly understandable. There is a finality to an obituary that many don’t want to address directly. On the other hand, an obituary that doesn’t express the achievements you were most proud of or that doesn’t properly express your affection for loved ones leaves no one satisfied. This can be easily avoided if you have input.
The solution? Documenting the highlights of your life and letting your loved ones know of your documentation. Let them know that you understand that someday, someone will be charged with the responsibility of completing your obituary and you would like to make it easier for them.
Having input in your own obituary can be a rewarding experience. After all, only you know what was truly important in your life. Documenting some details can make the tasks so much easier for those who may be asked to compile it. But where do you begin?
Don’t Write an Obituary. Tell a Story.
Give those left behind some guidance. Let them know where and when you were born and to who. But also give some interesting details about your early life. Yes, the fact that you were a boy scout just may bring a smile to someone’s face. If you were proud of marrying the person you dated in the 11th grade, share it. These are details likely to be missed without your input.
Your Schooling, Military Career, and Job
If you attended college, why did you choose to attend that school? If you were in the military where and how did you serve? What drew you to your career and what did you find rewarding about it? Writing a brief biography like this gives you an opportunity to look back while providing a chance for you to tell your story, your way.
Beliefs and Causes
Be sure to include information about what you believed in and causes you promote. This provides an opportunity for those who care about you to continue to support these causes on your behalf. It also gives insight for those who may not know you very well to better understand you.
The Lighter Side
Relay some funny stories about friends or family or recall an embarrassing moment. These may be things your family wouldn’t otherwise be comfortable sharing. With your permission, however, they can find it joyful.
Recognizing Those Who Are Important
Many times in today’s blended families, the order of people in an obituary may result in long-term effects. Writing your thoughts down about those who have meaning in your life has power. Debts from acts of kindness done for you decades ago can be paid. Loving, unsaid words can be expressed. Leave your obituary writer enough details to leave the legacy you want to leave. This is a time for love and appreciation.
At Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes, we help families write obituaries almost every day. We know that when a loved one leaves them at least a starting point, the process is so much easier. The result is almost always a more heartfelt obituary. You may not want to write your own obituary, but there are benefits to providing an outline for those who love you.