Write Your Own Obituary

Shall we face the facts? When we die someone will write and publish a death notice or obituary. Readers who knew you will read it and some will pass it along to others in an email attachment.

Your obituary will, for most of us, be the last words ever published about your life. One thing is certain. After your death it will not be possible for you to read and offer corrections. It will stand forever as written and published. You may say, “I don’t care what is published about my life after I die.” Somehow that statement just does not seem to have the ring of complete truth.

If another person writes it, how might it be wrong? It might incorrectly include the wrong date or place of birth. It might include the names of too few (or too many) family members. Educational or military accomplishments could be excluded. The length could be insultingly brief or embarrassingly long. The wording could be so flowery as to portray you in an unrecognizable manner; perfect in every way.

We have all heard the statement, “if you want a job done right, do it yourself.” Might that include writing your own obituary? If you want to be satisfied with the way it is written you may have to write it yourself. If you do, perhaps it should also be written in the first person / past tense. For example, mine might start with, “Well, I am finally gone.”

As always, there are many websites on this topic that provide useful guidance. Start with



Note: This was written in complete seriousness. The death of anyone deserves serious reflection and remembrance.

About authorbillramsey

During his forty-year professional career, Bill Ramsey wrote magazine articles and business newsletters. Now retired in the mountains of western North Carolina, he writes a blog and has published four books. Bill's 2015 collection of concise, real-life essays is titled "What Do YOU Think?" He has also written "Me Now - Who Next? (The Inspiring Story of a Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery)" and "Now That I Think About It. Bill's books and are available from Amazon.com and on all e-readers. See www.authorbillramsey.com. Follow Bill on Facebook at www.facebook.com/billramseyauthor/
This entry was posted in billramseyblog.wordpress.com, Fairness and Honesty, Family, Life and death and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Write Your Own Obituary

  1. KiM says:

    I remember this as a high school senior assignment. I’m sure I don’t have that paper anymore but I’m also sure it would completely not apply. Maybe if you write your own it should be updated like a will as things change?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember writing my dad’s obituary. Tough job at best. I better get started now . . . 🙂 Thanks for the heads up!


    • Writing one for your own parent has to be torture. What to put in and what to leave out. So much better for a person to write their own or at least provide some guidance for those left with the task.


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