Thursday, May 2, 2013
The art of the obituary
Posted by Lynne Butler
However, writing an obituary can be more difficult than you might think. There are questions about who should be mentioned (tricky when there are divorces or estranged relatives), and in what order people should be mentioned to avoid offending anyone. I remember making a suggestion about the order in which grandchildren should be named in my mother's obituary, and the eye-rolling, sighing and exchanged glances that let me know that others thought my suggestion was pedantic and unneccessary. There are also questions about how much detail to include and which photo should be used, and even who should be writing the obituary in the first place.
As with many tasks arising from the death of a loved one, the decisions regarding the content of an obituary are weighed down by loss and grief, making them more difficult.
In my view, there is no right or wrong amount of information to include in an obituary, as long as there is enough to properly identify the deceased person and to let people know where and when the funeral is taking place. It should reflect the wishes of the surviving family in terms of how much information about the deceased to provide publicly.
Click here to read an interesting article that talks about the challenges of writing an obituary for a famous person, and interestingly, a famous fish.