A Mean Obituary Hurts Everybody and Accomplishes Nothing

Mean ObituaryDid you see the mean obituary floating around on the internet from a Minnesota family?

Until now, I had not seen anything like it.  At first, I found the obit amusing because it was so unusual.  After 24 hours, I have come to my senses.


Writing a Mean Obituary is Bad Judgment

Writing an obituary is hard.  Using an obituary to send an ugly message is bad judgment on many fronts.  Here are a few reasons:

  1. The act of dying is a teaching moment.  Likewise, caring for our dead is a teaching moment too.
  2. Obituary notices are viewed as a legal notices to the general public.  Future generations need a clean slate.
  3. Writing a hurtful obituary breaches the Golden Rule
  4. Wishing another person damnation violates simple Christianity teachings
  5. Bearing a false statement (even in an obit) breaks the 10 Commandments

Should You Criticise the Drafter?

Of course writing a mean obituary is an easy trap to fall into.  Usually, these types of notices are written a few days after a person’s death.  Death inspires emotion, good and bad.  Unfortunately, an unclear mind led to bigger problems.

To prevent this issue, I like the idea of using this example to inspire others to draft their own obituaries.  I get it, it sounds morbid.  But really, it is an opportunty to reflect and set future goals.  If it helps, call it a Legacy Letter.

Either way, it is a sure way to avoid a mean obituary and reduce stress for our family.

Elements of a Happy Obituary

Writing a happy obituary means shooting for a Grimmy Award.  For those wishing to take on this exercise, here are a few tips:

  • Use a youthful picture,
  • Include a name, maiden nam, and nick name,
  • Identify a birthday and date of death,
  • Reference children by their first name,
  • Limit grandchildren to a number.
  • Embed a catch phrase used by the deceased,
  • Express talents and joys,
  • Describe what the deceased gave to others,
  • Include a reference to their military service, and
  • Make reference to a final resting place