How to write your own obituary

An obituary is a short piece of writing that talks about the life of a person who recently passed. It might be published in a newspaper, read aloud during your funeral, or both. 

It can be written by someone who knew the deceased the best, but it’s actually not uncommon for a person to write their own. 

And you thought writing your resume was hard… 

Let’s take a closer look at why you might prefer to write your own obituary, and how to go about it.  

The value of writing your own obituary

Writing your own obituary allows you to get the details correct about the major points in your life, but it’s also a great opportunity to reflect back on your life. What are your proudest moments? Biggest lessons? Biggest regrets? 

After the potential initial weirdness of it all, looking back on your life can be a beautiful way of taking stock of everything you’ve achieved and done so far. 

Of course, it’s also a time to say your final goodbyes to friends and family. You can pass on your hopes for them, your love, and any final ridiculous puns to give them one last giggle. 

How to write your own obituary

Your major milestones

To begin, start noting down the major points of your life. From your birth, note any major events, such as your first job, serious relationships, kids, career moves, moving cities or countries, qualifications earned, beloved pets, and anything else that jumps out at you. 

Pick out the most memorable and pivotal events of your life to talk about and use them as starting points for interesting or funny stories that highlight what’s most important to you.  

Your loved ones

Be sure to mention those you love. You know they’ll be listening and struggling but highlighting what they meant to you and reminding them of your favourite memories together will be a beautiful kind of closure for them. 

Also include messages you want people to take away. What kind of wisdom can you share, be it kind, witty, or deeply personal? 

Be yourself!

Keep in mind, all of this should be in your own words. There was only one Shakespeare, and the rest of us are perfectly fine using everyday language. Use your favourite catch phrases and everyday slang – everyone listening or reading will love nothing more than hearing something that sounds exactly like you. 

No need to be too formal

Finally, don’t be afraid to have fun with it. The mood of an obituary is a challenging one, because those left behind will undoubtedly be sad to say goodbye, but the purpose of sharing your life story is to remember the good times with fondness and celebrate everything about you, so a witty joke or a hilarious story are all perfectly at home in an obituary. 

If in doubt, chat to your loved ones about it. They’ll help you jog your memory to think about people to mention and stories to tell and can help to encourage you if you get stuck. 

Plan ahead for your final goodbye 

If you’re going to the trouble of writing an obituary, you can also help pay for your final wishes and funeral plans with OneChoice Funeral Insurance. A funeral insurance policy will pay a lump sum to your chosen beneficiary to help cover the costs of your funeral as a final parting gift, alongside your terrible puns of course!