If you asked writers whether they would want to write obituaries, most would probably not choose that as some of their favorite writing. But I’m blessed every time I write an obituary for someone in my church family. Writing the obituary for the funeral bulletin and the church newsletter is my memorial to the deceased and my gift to the family.
I interview the family and ask them to tell me about their loved one. Of course, I include details such as dates of birth and death, but I look for the things that made that person special. In most cases, I know the person because we’ve worshipped together so I add my own fond recollections as well.
Recently, though, I wrote the obituary for a member of our parish that I had never met because she was house-bound for several years. I do know her daughter, who shared wonderful memories of her mother. My friend was thrilled with what I wrote about her mother. And I got a note from a fellow parishioner: “I just wanted to tell you what a beautiful obit that you wrote for Donna’s funeral. It seemed more like a celebration of life.”
Celebrating life, sharing memories, and bringing comfort to the family – what wonderful blessings I find in writing obituaries for my parish.