Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Help! I Didn't Write An Obituary!"

Last Tuesday we took a look at obituaries-- the baggage and blessing they hold, and I admitted I must have gotten an "F" on my husband's. I've learned a few things since, though, and even more since I began this topic back in March with The Obituary & Death Notice.  Today we'll see some suggestions and alternative solutions to obituaries. If ideas or questions pop up while you scan the list today, please comment! Others will benefit from your voice.

There are two basic things to remember about obituaries:

1). An obituary is different from a death notice. The death notice is posted in the newspaper like a classified ad. It's often a legal requirement and often the funeral home will take care of it for you. It's costly for each word or line, so just the basic facts are necessary. The obituary is more personal. Large newspapers might only post obituaries of public or more famous people.

2). An obituary is optional. Some widows choose against them for fear of identity theft. For others, they are a must-have for the family and community. 

If you regret not having an obituary, here are some options I've heard from other widows.

1). Talk to the Lord about your feelings or regrets over this issue. Ask Him to lead you to write something, or to give you a peace about letting it rest.

2). Write a loving memorial on the one year anniversary. You could pay to put it in the newspaper, or mail it out yourself to friends, neighbors and loved ones.

3). See if the funeral home you used has a website where you could post a memorial. Let friends and family know if and when you do, and perhaps they'd like to write something, too.There are also many memorial sites online, just google the keywords you're interested in. Or use the Memorial Wall here on the WCP, or post a tribute as your status update on Facebook.

4). For further help and suggestions about this topic, visit this website: Avoid Pitfalls When Writing An Obituary

In any case, it's never too late to create a memorial or tribute to your husband. This is part of telling your story, and if it's important to you, it's important to do!



  1. Ferree,

    This is such a wonderful resource to turn too. I really love your suggestions and alternatives!

    I Pray that anyone who is holding on to any regrets regarding the obituary will be able to use this resource to help them work through it.

    I also love your use of the word "regret" instead of "guilt".

    I know some people will feel guilty about this. Guilt results in something that you knew was wrong at the time. Regret is something that comes later when you thought you could have done something better.

    I'm not sure if that helps, but sometimes knowing the difference and knowing that you have done nothing to feel guilty about may help you focus more on working through these feelings of regret.

    I agree with you, it is never to late to create a memorial or tribute. It's never to late for anything that's important to you.


  2. Excellent point about the difference between regret and guilt, Cathy. So often in the emotional chaos of grief the two can easily become confused. Once identified, it's easier to know how to deal with the feelings. Thanks for your input!


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