Obituary: Writing Your Own

Why write an obituary?

After reading mikeq107's obituary I thought, "what a great idea! Why leave this to someone else, they may not be too kind." After all, who knows me better than me? Of course I'm not going to include the bad stuff, I don't want to be remembered for that!

If you write your own obituary no one else will have to. They will have enough to do when you die so why not give them a helping hand?

You can start with all the normal obituary items; date of birth, date of marriage, number of children, etc. Then think, what do they not know about me? It turns out it is harder to write a good obituary than you might imagine. Hard as it may seem at first, once you get writing you might be surprised.

You may want to leave out those childhood antics, no sense giving ideas to your kids or grand kids. On the other hand, you may want to remind them you weren't such a bad student and you had lots of friends in school. You learned life lessons through your friends and experiences, you might want to include some of them.

My Obituary

First what are my values in life? What life lessons have I learned?

What made me me? My religion brought me through the good times and the bad. I knew too my guardian angel was looking after me in whatever form that angel took. Sometimes it was my mother, sometimes it was my husband, and sometimes it was a total stranger. So I would have to say my faith needs to be mentioned in one way or antoher.

I've learned my children are the joy of my life. Each one special and unique and yet all seem to be a part of the whole. When they were growing up I thought for sure one of them would meet his/her end at the hand of his/her siblings. Fortunately that never happened and they are all now the best of friends and a pride and joy to behold! Their spouses are all a wonderful addition to our family and my grandchildren! That alone could fill a book. Part of the lesson I've learned here is just how important my family is to me and how important it is to keep a sense of humor when you're raising a family. Cleaning puke up at midnight or digging unknown objects out of a baby's nose can be humorous experiences if you let them.

I place a high value on families. You need them to see you through life. Most of my life has been built around my family and their influence has helped me to make decisions on which way my life would go. Where would I be today if I hadn't had four children? Well, luckily that is a question I don't have to ponder.

It would be said I was an active person. Sports were never a problem in high school and though I had trouble realizing it my basketball skills diminished with age. Roller blading however made up for it in my fifties. In my sixties I was still looking for a replacement.

Smile...that's what you have to do to get through it every day. A smile makes people wonder what you've been up to; what are you so happy about? I believe in smiling and humor, along with your guardian angel they'll get you through.

One of my dogs, a miniature pinscher
One of my dogs, a miniature pinscher
Humming bird sitting at the feeder.
Humming bird sitting at the feeder. | Source

Things You Love

I have always been an animal lover and if my husband didn't control me I would probably have had a zoo! I have never been without a dog and had also had a cat, fish, birds both wild and tame. Not to forget my pond and my bullfrogs! Each year the bullfrogs join my pond and I sit and listen to them croaking one to the other. Oh and the hummingbirds. Those little darling birds buzzing by your head like a giant bumblebee headed to the feeder with a purpose! Their wings moving faster than the eye can see. All of God's wonders.

I have jumped from hobby to hobby my whole life but seem to have come full circle. First writing, then reading, then crafts and woodworking, rollerblading, bike riding, folk singing, then gardening and again writing. It's been a great ride. Singing with my Dad was a precious memory and then a folk group. I've been known to burst out in song in the most improbable places.

I enjoyed Halloween and Christmas with a passion outdoing myself every year with my costume and decorating my house and eight full sized Christmas trees every year. Each year my husband would shake his head as he had to get eight trees and numerous boxes out of the attic so we could decorate according to my standards. Remember kids, sell those ornaments, they're worth a lot of money!

Lots of fun and lots of good people in between. Always smile when you remember me and my antics. My family, know that Halloween and Christmas come every year and whenever they do I will be there. Pick a great costume in my memory and hang a special ornament on the tree just for me.

I will always be with you in your heart.

Montage of some of my Halloween costumes
Montage of some of my Halloween costumes | Source

Tombstones

Source

Hints on Writing Your Own Obituary

  • Decide what you want your obituary to say about you and make it a true account of your life.
  • Include the information normally included in local obituaries.
  • Ken Akers’ self-written obituary offers a light-hearted look at his life: “Ken Akers kicked the bucket on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at his home in Charlotte, N.C. He was old. So old he remembered black and white television, gas for 10 cents a gallon and Mickey Mantle’s rookie season…Akers was a hopeless romantic and a hapless husband. He was married twice. Neither marriage produced any children or any particularly fond memories.” [Read more in Charlotte Observer]
  • Now that you're looking at your life, are you happy with the legacy you're leaving?
  • What are your favorite accomplishments? Things you are most proud of.
  • There are many sites online that will provide you with outlines and ideas.
  • The author of the Granny Miller blog wrote, "For the vast majority of people, our obituary will be the only thing that is ever written about us."
  • Send copies of your obituary to each family member so someone is sure to have it when you die.
  • Are there things you like to say? Like a quote you're family knows you say over and over? You may want to include that in your obituary.
  • Download an obituary template from the Internet.
  • Dare I say, have fun with it?

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Writing Your Obituary

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Comments 5 comments

Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

An interesting idea and as you say, who better to write your obit than you? Haven't thought about mine although I have written down songs I want played at my funeral mass and wake (Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon for that, anyone who knows me well wouldn't need to be told that!)


MichelleA2011 profile image

MichelleA2011 5 years ago from Connecticut

Wonderful!! And such a great idea!!! You never know when your time will come and no one really knows you the way you know yourself!!! I might have to try my hand at this myself!!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York Author

I can't take credit for the idea, as I said mikeq107 did it first and I though it was a good idea. Of course the more I read it the more things I think of that I could add. Maybe someday I will. Danette & Michelle glad you liked it. Mikeq107 may have the whole Hub community writing Obits!


sen.sush23 profile image

sen.sush23 4 years ago from Kolkata, India

Hi Mary from Tillson, this was a good choice as first hub of yours to be read by me. That was a generous introduction, and I now know you like I have been staying with you for a couple of years. You seem to be a rambling, easy person, like me, except for your passionate zeal on family and religion. I am a little impersonal at times. I loved the slightly funny, ardent and enjoying style of your writing while reminiscent of your life. Voted up.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Thank you Sen.such23, we share a number too! So glad you enjoyed my obit, it does tell about me from my perspective.

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