After an Aging Parent’s Death: Obituaries and Remembrances

Other Posts Relating to Remembrances:   After a Parent’s Death: Writing a Remembrance, Part II,    After an Aging Parent’s Death: Obituaries and Remembrances,  Mother’s Memorial Service

Since my mother-in-law passed away in January, each day has included tasks for us to accomplish, all relating to the ending of a life and the transition to the next generation. My husband has primary responsibility for these activities, and I help as needed. Since her death he has worked on estate and financial items, and together we have sorted through clothes, furniture, and other possessions, deciding what to keep and what to give away. We emptied and closed up Mother’s apartment and arranged her memorial services.

On a more personal side we have spent a considerable amount of time writing remembrances and obituaries. Mother lived a rich life with activities, friends, and keen interests, so we have many stories to share. As we go through family papers, diaries, and photographs, we not only refresh our memories, but we learn new things. When we write we use bits and pieces of Mother’s story, one memory here, another there, depending on where we are sending the information.

We plan to forward obituaries or remembrances to three newspapers, several sorority chapters, a university publication, and several churches. Another remembrance is for the memorial services.

Most newspapers offer the choice of a standard death notice, at a low-cost or sometimes free. A longer news obituary article requires payment, ranging from $30 – $100, at least at the newspapers we have contacted.

Content wise, each piece we write includes basic information, birth, parents’ names, places where Mother lived, her degrees, and surviving family members. Depending on where an article is headed, it may also include an interesting story about Mother’s life there or details about a much-loved activity. We have several interesting stories, appropriate for locations where people knew her well and where people continue to remember her.

There are tricks to writing these compositions.  They cannot have too much content, but they still need lots of detail. Concise writing is key. Below are links that can help a family member get started.

Links to Help a Family Get Started Writing

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3 thoughts on “After an Aging Parent’s Death: Obituaries and Remembrances

  1. Thanks, Marti, for your helpful posts on obituaries and remembrances. We are in the midst of preparing for my dad’s Memorial Gathering to be held at the end of the month. As you say, there are many tasks to be attended to after a death. We are finding that taking care of business helps to keep us going through the stage of shock and numbness, which is beginning to wear off now. Bill had signed up for a jin shin training workshop months ago. Deciding to go ahead and attend this is the best thing he could have done for himself at this time. The weather is hot in Denver, and contributes to the feeling that we are just coping with whatever life is sending us right now. However, the tomatoes and eggplant love the hot weather and grow inches overnight.


  2. Pingback: What it Takes to Write Good Remembrance « As Our Parents Age

  3. Pingback: Writing a Parent’s Remembrance, Part I | As Our Parents Age

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