What was once a common assignment for students to reflect on their own lives and dreams by writing their own obituary has now become available through the Internet for preservation and to reach a larger audience.
The short obituaries once reserved in the publishing world for newspapers, focused on birth date, relatives, work, date of death and memorial services, can now be expanded to tell the story of the deceased.
While the original newspaper obituaries still exist, a new form of obituary is joining them. The new obituaries exist only online.
Unlike newspapers page, space online is “virtually” unlimited. This allows for longer obituaries that tell the story of the deceased often in humorous ways.
Some people are even writing their own obituaries for publication online. One 104-year-old woman began her obituary with “It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away” as Slate reported in “Famous Last Words.”
One of the interesting aspects of these online obituaries is that they can be shared with people you do not know. They can also be preserved for as long as the website on which they are posted exists.
This approach gives people an opportunity to write their own stories in their own words for future generations to treasure.
A self-written obituary or one written by family members can be directed to an executor to post when the time comes.
Reference: Slate (Aug. 31, 2015) “Famous Last Words.”