Lately I have been searching in old newspapers for obituaries of some of my ancestors. I have always wondered about the incredibly nice things written about people after they have passed away. Are the kind things written about them true? Or are they written only because they are dead?
I have written a few obituaries for family members. It is a daunting task and difficult to sum up in a few short paragraphs. It is also impossible to truly express the love and appreciation we have felt for others.
I believe a good obituary should always state genealogical facts followed by personal interests and accomplishments then by information about the funeral and burial. Obituary writers would do a better job if they realized someone living a hundred or more years later might cherish every word written about their ancestor.
When I visit cemeteries looking for headstones of my ancestors, I notice numerous markers with terms of endearment chiseled across the top. I always smile and think, "Wow, people loved that person!" Or sometimes I question, "Did the family put the inscription on the headstone just to impress others?"
Then I wonder if I have been good enough to have a term of endearment embedded on my headstone. Maybe when it is all said and done what will matter the most are the kind deeds we do noticed only by our Heavenly Father. I believe our Father in Heaven would like us to live a life worthy of every good thing which could be written on a headstone but then never expect we might deserve it.