obituary directions



ASSIGNMENT: What is an


? Your answer will no doubt include the word “death” in it, and “death” might even be that one word which attempts to control your thinking and steer you toward the potentially gloomy side of this assignment. However, nothing should be further from your thinking than the idea of “death.” An


is the written acknowledgement of a person’s life, not death. Plain and simple: this assignment is about life not yet lived – the life you want and dream about living.

DIRECTIONS: You will be writing a formal obituary, so it must be written in the third person (he, she, it) and past tense (“He lived a long and happy life”). If you have a moral, religious, or superstitious reason for not completing this assignment, talk to me/email me about an alternative assignment after class (i.e. a memoir v. an obit). This writing assignment is to be 2 pages in length, double-spaced, clearly written, and using language appropriate for sharing with your classmates.

RESOURCES: You, sample obituaries

Here are a few questions to consider before you begin:

 What do I like or love to do?

 What subjects or activities interest me the most?

 Can what I like or love to do be turned into a full-time activity or job or hobby when I grow older? (Example: If I love to listen to music, I could become a musician or music producer.)

 Do colleges/universities offer it as a subject I can study further and get a degree for?

 Where will I live? (Remember, in this assignment, as in life, you may live wherever you choose – and ask yourself this: Do I have to live on Earth?).

 Does where I live reflect who I am or what I want to do? (e.g. If I want to work with Alaskan Polar Bears, living in Los Angeles probably won’t help my career.)

 What do I do in my spare time (e.g. read, play soccer, dance, paint, hike, etc.)? And ask yourself, “Will I still like to do when

I’m older what I like to do now?”

 Am I married? Do I have a life partner? Do I prefer to be alone?

 Do I have children? How many? (Remember, having children takes a lot of responsibility and a lot of time, so try and be serious about what you do for a living and how you will be able to afford having children.)

 Do I have grandchildren? Great Grandchildren? Nieces and nephews, cousins and aunts and uncles? Who will I leave behind when I die?

Facts that must be included:

 Birth date and birth place (e.g. April 3, 1987 – Saint Vincent’s Hospital.)

 Death date, death place, and how you died (e.g. January 1, 2080 – Mars – atmosphere diving?)

 What you did (e.g. painter, doctor, plumber, teacher, pilot, politician, poet, musician)

 Who you leave behind (e.g. wife, husband, children, friends, etc.)