Friday, January 13, 2012

Follow Friday - Obit Kit

Back in October my Uncle died unexpectedly.

In addition to having to deal with overwhelming shock, my Aunt found herself in the position of having to make many decisions very quickly.

There was the decision of what funeral home to call, who needed to be notified, how to get the children home from college, where to purchase a burial plot (here or in Utah), what was the amount of his life insurance and where was the policy, etc....

The one thing I remember from that terrible Sunday morning was the funeral home coming for my Uncle's body and telling my Aunt as they were leaving "we will need information for an obit".   This was more than she could handle at the time.  How to write an obit when the death was so unexpected?

I vowed right then that my husband and I would prepare our final wishes this year so that our children, or surviving spouse, would not have to make them during their time of grief.  This includes writing our own obits.

On Friday, October 21, on Geneabloggers radio, Thomas had Susan Soper on as a guest.  She is the author of Obit Kit - A Guide to Celebrating Your Life.  Before the program ended I had ordered Susan's book.  It's a great guide to making your end of life decisions including not only your obit but what you would like included in your funeral or memorial service.

I know it sounds creepy to some, but for me, taking care of these details myself is like leaving a final, loving gift for my family.


  1. I totally agree, it's best to prepare. And, as genealogists it is very possible that we may be asked to write other obits. I'll have to check out the obit kit. Thanks for the post!

  2. Thanks for this post, Lisa. I know when my Mom passed away unexpectedly, we were at a complete loss of what to do. The hospital gave us some information...but the hardest part was trying to figure out what Mom would have wanted...I don't want my son to have to go through that anguish.

  3. Oh goodness, Lisa, this brings back memories. My very fit Mum died suddenly in Sep 1997 at the age of 57 while caring for my Dad, who had terminal cancer and other complications. All the family knew was that she wanted to be privately cremated (no fuss) and thought floral tributes were a waste of money (she was appalled at the waste of money on flowers for Princes Diana the week before she died). I was tasked with sending her Death Notice to the newspapers for publication (we're not big on obits here in Scotland) and did the best I could given the circumstances, but I still feel I didn't do her justice. It's not creepy at all to make your wishes known, and your children will be grateful for the direction. Jo

  4. Thank you for the feedback. We do want to say our children from having to make decisions when they will be least prepared to do so. Onkant and Jo.....I'm so sorry for your loss.....

  5. Thank you, Lisa your decision is a good one - do it! I'll be doing the same :-) It'll be a long time before they need instructions though :-) hopefully!