Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sympathy Saturday - Write Your Own Obituary

Why should you write your own obituary?  Well, what do you want to remembered for?  What have you done in your life that you are especially pleased about?  And, and, and....

I just wrote an obituary for my father-in-law.  No, it isn't a sad occasion.  He had a great life; was 96 years old; and died peacefully in his sleep AT HOME.  But....the most difficult part of the arrangements was writing the obituary; not an emotional problem, but one of figuring out what to include. 

Now, being a researcher, I've read lots of obituaries.  But it's different when you start to write one.  I had others "proof read" my drafts, but I still forgot things.

First, I forgot to list the spouses of the children.  Then, I forgot to list surviving siblings.  AND, I forgot to list siblings that predeceased him.  I forgot to include his two wives to predeceased him.  I forgot to list to mortuary (but they helped with that.)

My husband added two great pieces of informatio about Dad's working career.  Dad's caregivers reminded me that he considered himself the original "Cookie Monster," a comment that has made many laugh who read the obituary and remember Dad.  I also needed help with his current and past activities (which I got from his caregivers) since we live almost 400 miles from him and weren't a part of his daily life. 

So, please consider what you would like to have written about you.  If you don't want to actually write one, at least starting a list of things you would like to have mentioned.  Or make a template and add topics as you think of them.  All of these ideas would definitely help anyone who is trying to write a complete obituary and celebrate your life.