The aim of an obituary is to prove Mark Antony wrong. In his famous soliloquy in Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar” (Act 3 scene 2) that starts ‘Friends, Romans, Countrymen’ he says
The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones
Your challenge in writing an obituary is to ensure that the good and memorable aspects of someone’s life is fairly remembered, rather than quickly forgotten. For sure, writing an obituary is not something that many of us have experience with, although there are people who do it, all day every day – professional obituary writers, particularly for media outlets.
Indeed, such people not only write obituaries, but – much like our recommendation to you – they write them for living people, then refresh and revise them regularly, so that when the person dies, there is an obituary that just needs the final ‘finishing touches’ and can quickly be published.
Here are a collection of pages designed to assist you in preparing then publishing an obituary – perhaps even for yourself. We urge you to be like the professionals, and get this done ahead of time, while the subject of the obituary can assist you in the preparation of the piece, and while you have plenty of time to contact other people, and check other sources, to create a piece that does justice to the person whose life you wish to commemorate and memorialize.
Before clicking on through these pages, please also keep in mind that help is at hand. LifeLinker offers you a professional obituary writing service. The cost and time it takes for this service depends on the complexity, availability and detail of the material available, and is simply charged at an hourly rate of $120/hr. Plan on at least one hour of charged time and a day or two to complete an obituary assignment. There’s a page about that, too.
- Writing an Obituary part 1 – enlisting the subject’s advance cooperation
- Writing an Obituary part 2 – research and raw data
- Writing an Obituary part 3 – an autobiography too
- Writing an Obituary part 4 – general stylistic considerations
- Writing an Obituary part 5 – a sample obituary
- LifeLinker’s Obituary writing service