You will be survived by family members and friends: do you want them to be the writers of your memory—your legacy: or YOU? A self-written obituary is the perfect place to start! 

Here are Five Reasons to Write Your Own Obituary:

Give Yourself the Chance To Get It Right

Putting fingers to keyboard; a cathartic self-reflection and opportunity to reflect on your life, your accomplishments, mistakes, passions, and quirks. What would you like to say to loved ones that you have not said? Have you always wanted to bike across America, learn pottery or buy that 1972 vintage green bug you loved since the age of 16? Writing your own obituary brings a new focus to your life. It reminds us that while we may delay our deepest desires: time waits for no one. 

The Heart & Soul Of Any Legacy

An obituary is the heart and soul of any legacy and represents the ongoing foundation of a life lived. We obviously won’t be around to watch our legacy live beyond us, however writing your own obituary is something you can do today to ensure your heart and soul will live on, fortifying your own personal legacy. Your personal life story and legacy can be instantly published to anyone you have directly identified (friends, family, medical providers, clubs, churches). This eliminates the anxiety of who will write your obituary and when it will be distributed.  Gain peace of mind knowing you have taken steps to preserve your story in a planned and personalized way–eliminating one more worry for your family and friends. 

No One Knows You The Way You Know You

Your last and greatest gift is the story you leave behind. Sure, your loved ones know you in many different ways. You have worn many hats in your life: mother, father, employee, daughter, son, friend, and so on. Each has their own perspective of YOU. But no one knows more about your story than you—for you have lived it.  You lived a big life! Writing about your life is an act of introspection that may bring totally unexpected changes to your life now. It’s also an act of love. 

Family & Friends Will Thank You

 Assist with closure and unburden family and friends who may be in need of direction after you are gone by preparing your own obit. Pulling a funeral together in a short amount of time is not easy. There are many arrangements to be made while feeling shell shocked with early stages of grief. Preparing your own obituary will help everyone gain acceptance and begin to mend the tear in the fabric of family and community after you have died.

It’s the Gift That Keeps Giving. Truly

An obituary can represent the big picture, the circle of life. Your own obituary is not only a way to share your own personal story and lessons learned. It’s a complete reflection of the legacy you were given from the generation before you. What values did Grandma Beckman bring forward after surviving the great depression? What was the secret ingredient in your great grandfather’s chili? Could this have anything to do with why you are the winner of the “World’s Greatest Chili Competition” five years in a row? How will these lessons, information and stories translate through your life into the next generation who will go before you?

Other countries/cultures have long accepted death as just a part of life. The last couple of years have caused a shift in our thinking about death in America. We sense a new cultural acceptance of death that enables new choices; we are, at last, rethinking death. 

Millions of Americans—particularly the Boomer generation– are now focused more and more on their legacy–that lasting reflection of who they are, the life they have lived and most importantly– how they want to be remembered—and that includes the last thing most people will read about them: the obituary. 

This article was originally written by Maggie Gannon for WWW.MYLIVINGOBITUARY.COM.