The Best Obituary I Have Ever Read

Obituaries are pretty basic and most follow the same format.  Name of deceased, date of death, names of beloved family and friends, time of welcoming visitors at the funeral home as well as information for the service and internment.  Some include a few endearing words like “loving father” “beloved Nana” and some list many impressive life achievements of the deceased loved one.

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Reading the obituaries is not something I usually do, but I was looking through the paper the other day and my eyes were drawn to an older photo of a lovely, stylish young woman in her 30’s or 40’s.  I am not sure why I started to read her obituary, but I am so glad I did!

I have never read an obituary like this and I just have to share it!  I omitted all of the personal details such as where she was born, names of family and friends and information about the celebration of life and internment. I also changed her name to protect her identity.

Betty was 76 when she died peacefully, surrounded by love…..

“Betty personified beauty, grace and glamour her whole life.  She was sassy, whip smart, and had a memory like a steel trap (seriously, the woman never forgot anything). She was also absolutely hilarious (despite never actually trying to be funny), and she was perhaps at her best when her silliness caused her to dissolve into fits of giggles and laughter. There are far too many funny Betty stories to recount here, but a favorite is her insistence that if the Disney cruise the family had booked for a week lacked either alcohol or a casino, she would be jumping overboard and swimming back to shore (and she was only maybe 10% kidding).  She adored clothing, makeup, perfume, music, chocolate covered cherries, and a good vodka tonic. She was a phenomenal cook, and she enjoyed doting on her loved ones by whipping up specially requested meals.  Her butter beans, in particular, were nearly as legendary as she was.”  

“In honor of Betty’s memory, the family asks that you enjoy a toast (preferably with vodka) and tell someone how lovely she was (which she never, ever tired of hearing).  In lieu of flowers, tributes can be made to Talbot’s, QVC, or the Home Shopping Network, all of which were grateful beneficiaries of Betty’s love of shopping for many years.”

“There will never be another like Betty.  Her family misses her very much and is fortunate to have had her.” 

At first I wasn’t sure what to think when I finished reading. Was this really an appropriate way to announce her death to everyone? It did not not take me long to come to my decision that this is one of the best tributes to someone I have ever read in an obituary.  Whoever wrote it must have loved her much and known her very well.  After reading about the type of person she was, I am sure she would have loved the way it was worded.  What do you think?

55 thoughts on “The Best Obituary I Have Ever Read

  1. It’s the kind of obit I’d want someone to write about me (if I let that happen! I am threatening to write my own which would be part funny and part grateful for having lived!). I have read one or two similar to this and thought what a great life they had. Our local newspaper charges a lot to publish an obit and the art of writing anything personal is getting dropped. It’s down to the basic facts and that’s just sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Found your post over on #SeniSal. I think it’s the perfect obituary. It’s appears to be an honest reflection of Betty, and shows how much fun and lovable she was.
    I had the job of writing up my dad’s obituary last year. Because he was like no other, I wanted his obituary to be like no other too. Many of them are similar with no sense of personality.
    This made me smile today!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to read the obituaries when I was working since I knew many people at that time. Unfortunately, I would sometimes see their names or one of their loved ones. I already know I would have liked this woman, even though I never met her. I think it is a wonderful obituary chronicling her life, not her death. And like you say, she must have been loved very much. Thank you for sharing an inspirational post. Sharing on SM and #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It was a wonderful reflection of a woman who sounds like she would have loved reading that about herself. Sometimes we take ourselves far too seriously and I think that it would be a joy to have someone know me well enough to write an obituary that brought me “back to life” in the minds of the people who loved me (and for total strangers to enjoy it speaks volumes!)
    Thanks for linking this up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

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  5. I was thinking the same thing as one of the other commenters (given my mother in law just passed a couple of weeks ago) …How much that must have cost!!! Which is SUCH a sad thing to focus on! It was a beautiful tribute to a lady who appears to be a blessing to all who knew her.

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  6. Love it! Reminds me of the obit of my former headmistress, who described herself as irascible and a terrible patient, but who appreciated the patience and care of her long-suffering friend. It was so heartfelt and caring and true to form. Thanks for sharing this one!

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  7. That obituary made me cry that the world lost such a wonderful person but it does seem she left behind someone wonderful enough to recognise her beauty and write something so wonderful for her!

    I would have loved to hang out with Betty.

    ~Allison
    MLSTL

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  8. Keeping Betty’s memory alive through humour is the way to go. I wrote my Mum’s obituary and put a few things in there which gave everyone a smile. My mum had the right idea however, as 2 years earlier when we celebrated her 80th she wanted us to tell her what she’d meant to us. It was beautiful Grandkids did something, even the great grandkids did too and I spoke. Mum loved that.
    Denyse #mlstl

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  9. Yes! I love this obituary. It makes me wish I knew Betty–and kind of feel like I did. It’s funny, I recently wrote a post where I mentioned that I have become the family obituary writer. I always try to capture the essence of the person, rather than the historical facts of his or her life. Here’s an idea for determining your own values or life mission statement: write your own obituary–the way you hope it read–and then live your life to match it. Thanks for sharing this one. It put a smile on my face this morning.

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  10. This reminds me of an obit I read last Sunday; it had been written by the deceased himself! It wasn’t quite as funny as this one, but showed that the gentleman had a sense of humor and didn’t take himself too seriously. Thanks for sharing this one.

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  11. I love that obit…and the idea that someone brought up about writing our own obit in a way that describes how we live our lives, sort of a guide to living and what you want to be remembered for.
    I think the author obviously knew Betty well, and I’d bet it was a collaborative effort. I know that when we wrote my dad and mom’s obits my brothers and I worked on them together. It was a lovely exercise in remembrance and a healthy outlet for our grief.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh this was fun. I wish I was half as much fun as this lady.
    My cousin wrote one for my aunt (her mother) which was pretty funny too.
    To quote a little bit : Terry asked that no one wear black as she planned on “going out in color” and wanted this to be a fun celebration of her life. If this is upsetting to you, she would ask you to “build a bridge and get over it”.

    Like

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