Creative Obituaries: Something More For The Loved

By: Ben Nystrom

Creative obituaries are a new spin on an old tradition. In the 1500s when the printing press became more popular and widely used, obituaries began as short death notices and usually contained only the deceased's name, date of birth, death date, and cause of death. In the 1800s, longer, more elaborate obituaries began to show up in the London paper, “The Times". These new obituaries included short poems, scriptural passage, and biographies. In the 1900s, photographs and other images were added to the obituary notices. Today, the most elaborate print obituaries contain a small picture of the deceased, basic biographical information, and some short poem or scripture.

The most common examples of creative obituaries in this day and age are online obituaries and death notices. The nature of the internet lends itself to the creativity and thoughtfulness of an obituary because it can be so easily customized, accessed and distributed.

There are several key reasons that online obituaries are becoming increasingly popular.

1. Online obituaries allow the bereaved to contact exactly who they wish to regarding the death of their friend or loved one. With online obituaries, you can send personalized notices and important information to anyone you feel would benefit from knowing about the passing of someone special.

2. Online obituaries allow you to create an elaborate, multi-media web sites or presentations. Using resources available online, families can create obituary sites that include pictures, video and audio clips, passages from the deceased's favorite books, links to sites the deceased personally made or contributed to, and more. Instead of trying to summarize the life of your friend or loved one in a few short sentences, online obituaries allow you to create whole "life stories" that celebrate the deceased in a way print obituaries never could.

3. Online obituaries are fluid, evolving memorials to your friend or loved one that can be updated or changed as your memories fade in and out. If the deceased was a major sports fan; as the team triumphs or falls, you can add comments to your online obituary to reflect the deceased's feelings or thoughts. If you discover some old photos of the deceased after you have sent an obituary, you can easily add them to their online obituary. These kind of continual changes are impossible with a traditional obituary but a part of honoring a loved one with these creative memorials.

Developing a creative online obituary is simple to do using the many online services available to grieving families. It simply takes some thought from a friend or family to think about what type of site best represents the loved one. Pull together photos, videos, links, and other items that represent the deceased and talk to family members about their special memories. With this information, you can find an online site that will walk you through the steps of adding your memories, pictures and more to put together a creative online obituary and memorial.

A creative obituary can help you and the family find a way through the grieving process toward a happier place where you can cherish the time and memories you have of the deceased.

~Ben Nystrom, 2009

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Creative Online Obituaries: Create a thoughtful and customized memorial site at the Valley of Life memorial service site.

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