Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday: Writing Your Own Obituary

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

I am writing my obituary. Why would I do that?  Why Not! I would like to be remembered. When I write my own obituary it will be as accurate/factual as possible and will let people know what I am all about.

 I just finished updating my mothers obituary but it had been originally written by my father in 2004 and then I continued (2007) to update it and then finalized it for publication (2015). This is not something that I write lightly and without care ....  it is very important to me that it is done correctly, it contains information that others years down the way can refer too and get good precise information from it about me, about my life and about my family. I really believe we all should begin our own and just keep tweaking it over the coming years. Remembering to let someone else know where it is so they can actually put it out for publication for you when the time comes.

Haven't you found an obituary of one (s) in your ancestry that had virtually no good information. Some had some good information but not really complete. AND others where the information was wrong. You wonder who put this together, obviously not the person that passed away. It was probably left to a relative that was not familiar or knew the stories but not the facts. Very disturbing!! Remember how disappointed you were, wishing there was more AND THERE ISN'T. Very discouraging. So it is a great idea for you to be prepared and get writing ............. do it in an outline form first, just get that important background information NOW put it in a written format, something you like.  Encourage others in your family and close friends to do the same.

What should be in an obituary? The basic information is important - full name, maiden name if it is a female, date and place of death, birth date and place of birth, parents names, mothers maiden name, burial place, spouse name, children's name and other close relatives names with their relationships.  NO Mr. & Mrs Smith OR MRS JOHN SMITH. The wife/daughter/niece have their own names and we want to know those names. To me these are the basics and then you fill it all in with other information about yourself. Where did your work? Are you retired? What hobbies or special interests? What organizations did you belong too? 

Let me introduce you to my mother who just passed August 7, 2015. I know this a very detailed obituary but I would be thrilled to find this from any of my ancestors.....  wouldn't you?

Sacramento Bee, August 23, 2015 Sunday Local Section page 6B

Were you able to see the this woman in her own light, her life, her family, her interests? OK OK I could have cut it down and saved a bundle of money too but WHY? You only die once........... Happy Writing!!!

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