Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Obits: What Will They Say About You?

Just curious - how many genealogists who are reading this have actually written out their own obituary? Yes, I know it's hard for some to cope with our own mortality, but have you written something out?

Since my immediate family is down to two people and I will leave no descendants, I decided that I was going to get in the last word. My obituary is already written and on file with the mortuary. Creepy, yeah, I know. But not a bad idea, really.

My Dad has written his obituary as well. In fact, he just had me make some additions to it about a week ago. That must be where I get it.

As I read through some of the obituaries I find in my research, I come across so much misinformation. That is probably due to a family member trying to remember things about the deceased relative at an emotional time. The same can be said for the information provided by informants on death certificates.

The media always keep career highlights and filmed footage on celebrities ready to go at all times. How else did you think they can get the information out as fast as they do? Back in journalism school, our 'punishment' for misspellings or grammatical errors was to write obituaries on famous people. During a conversation with my Mom, she commented that some politician had died. I replied that he hadn't. She insisted she'd read it somewhere. We finally figured out she had read some of obituaries I had to write!

I'd love to find out if you've written your own obituary. If not, do you plan to? If not, who will end up writing it? Please add your two cents in the Comments section below.


  1. I have started a file, kind of like a will, of what i am leaving to whom and I have included what i want in my obituary. I also included the correct information to put on my death certificate. :-)

  2. Susan, This might be the push I need. Just printed out your blog and plan on doing one soon...you never know when. And, I can't trust my husband to write the right thing!!