Because of our unique role in shepherding families through the process of grief, we know that we are more than just a business; we are a key part of the local community, and that’s a role we take seriously. We are honored to serve our neighbors during seasons of mourning and loss, and to provide comfort through uncertain times.
Since this community has been so supportive of us over the years, we believe strongly in giving back, remaining visible, and doing our part to promote the community’s wellbeing. We encourage our employees to volunteer their time in ways that serve their neighbors, and we delight in working closely with local caregivers, veterans, first responders, clergy, hospices, and charities. In short, we empower our employees to make a positive difference in the local community.
Giving back is part of what we do, and community involvement is intrinsic to our business model. We are grateful for every opportunity we have to serve our neighbors in this unique and special place.
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The hardest letter we ever have to write to someone we love is an obituary.
Writing an obituary for a loved one can be a daunting task. We’re faced with questions of what to include, how long should it be, should it be written from the heart or is it more of an announcement. The reason for this article is to paint a picture of what an obituary can be.
The primary purpose of an obituary is to announce to the surrounding community that a loved one has passed. It’s important for people to know. Just like the immediately family is adjusting to life without a key family member, people in the community need to know about their loss of a friend or colleague as well.
Obituaries inform people of when and where services will take place. Whether it’s a funeral service, visitation, memorial service, life celebration, graveside service or wake, the obituary tells the community where to go and when to be there.
Obituaries often share the names of the loved one’s surviving family members. The names of immediate family members sometimes all the way to more distant family members names may be included: spouse, children, parents, siblings, special friends, and sometimes even nieces, nephews, and/or cousins. Some families also choose to include names of family members preceded in death to the loved one they are writing about.
Something we often don’t think about when reading or writing obituaries is that they will often be used by family members many generations from now tracing their ancestral lines. For this reason the information in obituaries is of significant value.
One of the most elegant parts of the obituary is where the honoree’s “life story” is described. This is where the reader learns who this person was, what was important to them, what they did during their life. It’s almost like this is the paragraph that paints a picture using words of what this special person was like to their family, friends, and community. It may talk about their faith and church affiliation, their vocation, military service, hobbies & interests, favorite places, and their importance to their family and how much they were loved and will be missed. This is often the hardest part to write but when the time is taken to write it, it’s often the most meaningful.
Obituaries sometimes name the recipient of memorial contributions. This may range from a non-profit, a church building fund, a hospice, or a memorial fund for something important to the loved one.
Obituaries will sometimes recognize honorary pallbearers. These are different from active pallbearers (those serving to carry a casket). Honorary pallbearers are a members of a group that was important to the loved one who has passed. It may be members from a Sunday school class, colleagues at work, friends from a club or hobby. Often times during the services the honorary pallbearers will be seated in a section together. It’s just a small way to show respect and honor the important group.
Obituaries will sometimes have a sentence or two thanking a special caregiver who helped care for their loved one during final days, months, or years.
Many obituaries will include a single photo or in some cases two (young & recent). This helps readers quickly recognize someone they may know and also adds a nice personal touch.
Writing the Obituary
Some families will sit with a funeral director who will ask important questions allowing them to sculpt the sentences for the obituary. Most funeral directors have written thousands of obituaries so they can be a great resource during a time when it may not be easy to think and write clearly. If your family has a creative writer consider allowing this person to get involved with the process. Involving family members is always the best option because they know their family members better than anyone and they will write from the heart.
Publishing the Obituary
Newspapers all across the country publish obituaries. Some newspapers publish and distribute their paper daily and others are intermittent (i.e. weekly or bi-weekly). Newspapers have different pricing structures, some charging by the word, some by the line, and some are free. Some newspapers are extremely expensive to publish obituaries in. A way around this is to include just the basic information and basic arrangements so people know where they need to go for services. Then the longer more detailed obituary can be published online. Social media networks are also an important place for obituaries to be shared as more and more people solely get their news via internet resources.
We hope this information has been helpful and thanks for taking the time to read it. Losing a close family member is one of the hardest thing we go through in life. Getting through the transition is something that takes a lot of time. Sometimes something as simple as writing a meaningful obituary is a tribute in itself and can help us during our time of grief.
Comments or messages are welcome!
We’re blessed with an outstanding team of fire, police, and first responder personnel in north Georgia. To show our appreciation for what you do we’ll have biscuits, bagels, orange juice, and coffee for you this coming Friday from 7:30 – 9:30 AM. Come inside and eat or if you are in a hurry just pull up to the door and we’ll run it out to you in your vehicle. Thanks again for all you do!
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