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Can an Obituary Help You Come to Terms with Your Loss?


Grieving Process

Posted On: Jun 12, 2017

Can an Obituary Help You Come to Terms with Your Loss?

Obituaries are notices of deaths in the area. They appear in newspapers, and it's not uncommon for a funeral home to publish obituaries on their sites, and to create bookmarks that contain the obit. You probably don't think much about these small columns of words, but they are meaningful. In addition to announcing to the community that a death has taken place, obituaries also reveal the details regarding the viewing and funeral, where everything takes place, and if the family intends to have a get-together after the burial. An obituary can also be cathartic—that is, the writing of it can help you come to terms with your loss or even frame it in a celebratory way.

Use Humor to Cope with Your Grief

Time was, almost all obituaries were staid and simple. They shared just the facts, couching the cause of death in vague terms, mentioning the decedent's profession, and detailing close family members who are still living as well as those who have already passed. The idea of inserting any humor into an obituary was verboten for the most part. These days, humorous or lighthearted obituaries are much more common. Sometimes, the decedent writes her or his own playful obit. At other times, family members and friends come together to remember funny or meaningful anecdotes to publish in the paper, thus allowing entire communities to get a glimpse of the soul who just departed.

Create a Miniature Family Tree

You can also use the obituary as an opportunity to sketch out your family tree. As mentioned, obituaries traditionally contain information about which relatives survive the deceased and which relatives preceded her or him in death. To get this information, it's often necessary to look through your family to discover who needs to be mentioned. Go a step further and watch your family tree spread its branches before you.

Write a True Memorial

Just as some people choose to craft witty obituaries, others decide to pay homage to their departed loved one. There is no limit on how long an obituary can be, especially when you're paying for printing space. Take the opportunity to let your corner of the world know who you lost and why that person was so special.

It's hard to sit down and write out a notice of death. Each word reminds you of whom you've lost. Have you ever written an obituary? How did you get through it?