With cremations in Bellingham, WA, one of the things that will need to be done is to have an obituary written, either to be posted only on the funeral home’s website or to be posted and published in a local newspaper.
Have you thought, though, about what your obituary would say if someone else wrote it? It would, in all likelihood, follow the generic format of most obituaries that are written (there is nothing wrong with this, by the way).
But would it say what you want to say about who you were and the life you lived? Would it pass on any final wisdom to those you leave behind?
If you’re a humorous person or you like to pass on helpful advice to those around you, you can write a humorous obituary or you can get the last word in on advice in your obituary by making it personal and reflective of who you are.
These excerpts from John Alexander Hottell’s obituary show the power of being able to tell your own story when you die: “I am writing my own obituary for several reasons, and I hope none of them are too trite. First, I would like to spare my friends, who may happen to read this, the usual clichés about being a good soldier. They were all kind enough to me, and I not enough to them. Second, I would not want to be a party to perpetuation of an image that is harmful and inaccurate: “glory” is the most meaningless of concepts, and I feel that in some cases it is doubly damaging. And third, I am quite simply the last authority on my own death.
I loved the Army: it reared me, it nurtured me, and it gave me the most satisfying years of my life. Thanks to it I have lived an entire lifetime in 26 years. It is only fitting that I should die in its service. We all have but one death to spend, and insofar as it can have any meaning, it finds it in the service of comrades in arms.
And yet, I deny that I died FOR anything – not my country, not my Army, not my fellow man, none of these things.
I LIVED for these things, and the manner in which I chose to do it involved the very real chance that I would die in the execution of my duties…
I have known what it is like to be married to a fine and wonderful woman and to love her beyond bearing with the sure knowledge that she loves me; I have commanded a company and been a father priest, income-tax adviser, confessor, and judge for 200 men at one time; I have played college football and rugby, won the British national diving championship two years in a row, boxed for Oxford against Cambridge only to be knocked out in the first round, and played handball to distraction – and all of these sports I loved, I learned at West Point. They gave me hours of intense happiness.
I have experienced all these things because I was in the Army and because I was an Army brat. The Army is my life, it is such a part of what I was that what happened is the logical outcome of the life I loved. I never knew what it is to fail, I never knew what it is to be too old or too tired to do anything. I lived a full life in the Army, and it has exacted the price. It is only just.”
For additional guidance in writing obituaries for cremations, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Crematory – Bayview Chapel is here to help. We also serve the areas of Bellingham, Ferndale and Mount Vernon, WA. You can visit our funeral home at 2465 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, WA 98229 or you can call us today at (360) 733-0510.