Writing Obituaries


Photo by Forrest Smith from Unsplash.com

Writing Obits

Have you thought about writing or preparing obituaries?

I have a passion for “life stories” – and I believe that obituaries fit into that genre.  I like writing obits – sometimes.

Why sometimes?  It is a matter of time available for me to do it.  I have been asked to write them – but usually, it is when I am already time poor.  It adds to my life’s challenges.  I’d rather encourage people to write their own.  Write your own?  “I’m not dead yet” or “I don’t plan to die soon” is the response I often get.

I’d rather encourage others to create an “advanced obituary” – in preparation for when they will die. Everyone will, eventually.  It will happen.  We just don’t know when.  And like most things, it is good to be prepared.

What’s the Difference between an Obituary and a Eulogy?

A Eulogy is something that is spoken or read at a funeral or service after someone has died.  It is often a family member or close friend, or indeed a group of people (e.g. three sons), who present it.

The online dictionary says: a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly, especially a tribute to someone who has just died.

An Obituary is generally a short life story of the deceased person, which may be published after the person has died.  Often these are published in local or regional newspapers or other publications.  (e.g. online).

The online dictionary says: An obituary is a news article that reports the recent death of a person, typically along with an account of the person’s life and information about the upcoming funeral.

In Australia, we generally have the obituary published some time AFTER the funeral – and our papers have “classified ads” (paid) giving details of the death and funeral service.  (Death Notices and Funeral Notices)

Prepare the Obit in Advance

An Advanced Obituary

You probably know that most media outlets have obituaries planned for key people from around the world.  What if a member of the royal family were to die suddenly?  What about famous people?  Most media outlets have a library of obituaries that they keep updated – ready to be about to publish the obit when the time comes.

Have you thought about a family member – perhaps one in his/her senior years?  You could put pen to paper, or start on your computer to write down the information you know about this person or these people.

What about preparing your own?  Do you realise that often family members tasked with the job of preparing a eulogy or obituary may have little knowledge of your earlier years.

Help them out.  Write notes.  Talk with family members.

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About Di Hill

My business card says "Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, Bamboo Fan, Workshop Presenter." This website will focus on my writing - and the workshops I present. Workshops on Blogging, Marketing for Writers, and Life Story Writing.
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