Obituary Guide

News Release: Obituary Guide Now Online (August 30, 2007)

Are you faced with needing to write an obituary for a family member or friend? Would you like to get started on your own obituary? A new website could be what you are looking for. “The Obituary Guide is a resource to help those who need to write an obituary for someone else, or who want to have a say about what goes into their own,” explains website creator David McConkey.

“Most people are not well-know or fortunate enough to have a news obituary written about them, and that is where this website comes in – it is a reference for the rest of us,” says McConkey. The website has a template to follow, plus tips and suggestions for writing an obituary that is not only complete, but also lively and memorable.

A good obituary, McConkey notes, includes an accurate record of a death and funeral arrangements, a thank you to those who helped out, and a request for memorial donations. “Most importantly, he emphasizes, “an obituary should be a compelling story of a life.”

McConkey also observes that an obituary can be the inspiration for a funeral eulogy or longer family memoir, and record for genealogical research.

As well as providing suggestions for the do-it-yourselfer, McConkey also is offering his services as a writer: to proofread the drafts of others, suggest improvements, or write an obituary from information provided.

“I think that this is the era of more people wanting to approach their lives with meaning and creativity,” he says, “This website gives people the tools to do it themselves, or the option of hiring myself as a writer to assist them.”

“The Internet is changing the way we look at obituaries, and this website is part of that change,” says McConkey. McConkey points to how the Internet enables anyone to set up a memorial website that includes, for example, videos and comments from visitors, in addition to the regular text. The Obituary Guide website has a section of resources and links to other websites for those interested.

The thought of writing your own obituary might strike some as unusual, but McConkey says that this can be part of sound life and end-of-life planning. “The idea of arranging for a living will is becoming more common,” he points out. “In the same way, it is just good planning to specify your funeral wishes and to start your own obituary.” Writing your own obituary, he adds, is also a way to reflect on your life. It also could be the spark to compose a more extensive family history.

McConkey, from Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, has long had an interest in reading obituaries of the famous and the not-so-famous. For a number of years, he worked as a recycling plant manager and free-lance writer, then went through a career change last year. “The program where I worked as the General Manager closed down, and I found myself looking for new opportunities,” he says. “My interest in obituaries and in writing ‘how-to’ information seemed a natural fit for a new venture on the Internet.”

The Obituary Guide is at obituaryguide.com.



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