death writing eulogies, epitaphs, and obituaries

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  • Death Writing Eulogies, Epitaphs, and Obituaries
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  • Epitaphs What is an Epitaph? Epitaph the inscription upon a person's gravestone, tombstone, headstone or memorial plaque written in memory of the person. Most include the name of the deceased, the date of birth and the date of death. Some include the person's significant achievements. Many include quotes or excerpts from holy texts, writings or expressions, or short witty statements.
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  • More than Just Rest in Peace Perhaps one of the most commonly used ones, at least in photos and graphics is Rest in Peace, abbreviated: R.I.P. A good epitaph is one that makes you pause for a moment to think.
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  • Serious Epitaphs
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  • Humorous Epitaphs
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  • What is a Eulogy? Eulogy a speech or writing prepared by someone close to a deceased person that honours the deceased person and his/her life.
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  • How to Write a Eulogy 1. Introduce yourself in a few words. Perhaps there are many attendees who will not know your relation to the deceased. E.g. For anybody who doesn't know me, I'm... and I want to say a few words in memory of... Et cetera. 2. Personalize your eulogy. Express your personal feelings and thoughts about moments and activities at which you feel close to your beloved one. Photos and videos may help. E.g. I'll miss the fishing trips we made. E.g. I'll miss the inspiring after dinner talks we had. 3. Share happy memories. Mix in a tasteful humorous memory. E.g. Cite a characteristic expression or an activity that everyone recognize.
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  • 4. Tell anecdotes, real life experiences that capture her or his personality. Think about holiday adventures, work anecdotes, etc. E.g. Illustrate that she or he was a great story teller by paraprhasing how she or he tells a story. 5. Describe the deceased person's character. Give examples. Highlight the good sides and forget embarrassing moments. E.g. Share the memory of the kindness to everyone he/she met. E.g. Describe how she or he met difficult challenges with dignity. 6. Express the values that were important to the deceased. Display humorous habits or a manner of living. Never tell about bad habits. E.g. Explain how she or he achieved her or his goals in life.
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  • 7. Refer to family ties - wife, husband, children and other mourning relatives. 8. Highlight memorable accomplishments, special knowledge, skills or capabilities. 9. Mention travel, if it is relevant. Are there places the person who died loved to travel to or visited frequently? E.g. Share the content of the postcards you received, the stories of discoveries abroad.
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  • 10. Tell the life history in a way that honours it. Do not list many facts, but briefly summarize the life of you beloved one. 11. Quote a favorite poem or other text that brings to mind the deceased person. If the deceased has written anything you can use, quote it.
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  • Sample Eulogy for a Grandfather Henry James once said, Sorrow comes in great wavesbut it rolls over us, and though it may almost smother us it leaves us on the spot and we know that if it is strong we are stronger inasmuch as it passes and we remain. My grandpa never liked to be the center of attention. If he were with us now, he would want us to take the focus off him and put it on us. He would not want us to focus on the sadness of his death, but instead look at the happiness we still have in our lives. He would want us to look at each other and appreciate what we have together and what we hope to make better. I have much consolation in the good feelings my memories give me. I remember when I was a little girl, having sleepovers at grandma and grandpas house. We used to make forts and haunted houses in the basement, and then have them go through it. Grandpa used to scare us, because often times we would go through it ourselves. In the mornings there would always be a huge breakfast waiting for my brothers and sisters and me. Pancakes, waffles, muffins, bacon, sausage, orange juice, milk, and even pie. I used to nap for hours after I ate there.
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  • I remember every holiday season, grandpa used to dress up as Santa, and even the Easter Bunny. I didnt realize it was him until I was about 12. I got so excited when he would come through that kitchen door, with a bag full of goodies. We would all sit on his lap and he would pass out toys or candy one by one. It was so much fun. Grandpa was always playing with us. He was great at doing voices. He was fun to play fantasy with. He played board games with us, and he would always want to give us money. We would have races in the backyard for dollars. The mini Olympics he used to call them. We would have running contests, and kicking contests, relays and swimming events. He would just laugh and laugh, handing out dollar bills one after the other. We all loved it. Grandpa always said that his grandchildren kept him young at heart. That made us feel good inside. I can see that my father got his fun loving spirit from grandpa. He was a great teacher to have, not only for my dad and us, but also for everybody. He was selfless and kind. He loved being a parent and grandparent. It was his calling in life. Grandpa, I will miss your bear hugs, and roaring laugh. You were a wonderful role model in my life, and a great friend. When I am up beside you, be sure to remind me that I owe you quite a few dollar bills. I hope you accept that as gratuity for all the wonderful memories that you gave me.
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  • What is an Obituary? An obituary is an announcement of someones death in a newspaper. The obituary serves several purposes, including: 1. To inform the community of the persons death. 2. To clearly identify the deceased person publicly. 3. To honour the deceased person.
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  • How to Write an Obituary Give the deceased's full name and date and place of death. Recount the main events in the person's life, beginning with his or her birth and birthplace. Include a list of schools attended, degrees received, vocation and hobbies. Acknowledge any survivors, including parents, spouse and children. Announce when and where the funeral, burial, wake and/or memorial service will take place. Conclude with a statement regarding where memorial contributions can be sent, if applicable.
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  • SMITH Hampton, N.B. -- John A. Smith, died July 2, 1997, after a short illness. Born August 4, 1936 in Halifax, N.S. he grew up and lived most of his working life in Hampton, N.B. In 1967, along with his brother Calvin, he established a home mail order business baking and shipping gourmet sugar cookies. Local residents joined the frenzied family on the sugar cookie team every holiday season as the house filled with shipping boxes and sugar cookie aroma pervaded the neighborhood. Under the philosophy of "Build a little, Bake a lot", the "Sugar Crispy" flourished and developed a nationwide customer base of sugar cookie fans. The next generation of Smiths has now taken over, but John's enthusiastic spirit continues.
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  • Surviving are his son, John Smith, Jr. and wife, Nancy, of Hampton; daughter, Janice Smith Thomas and husband, George; and two grandchildren, Joseph Thomas and Matt Thomas, all of Saint John. The memorial services will be held at 11:00 am, Friday, July 10th at Quispamsis Memorial Church with the Reverend Paul Jorday, officiating. Memorial donations may be made to the Saint John Hospital Foundation.
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  • Assignment Choose a subject for your death writing. The subject can be a real person or a fictional character. Consider doing these for your portfolio subject! (If you are stuck for a subject, use YOU.) Choose a brainstorming method. We will brainstorm your subject for 5 minutes! Write: 1) an epitaph and 2) either a eulogy OR obituary about your subject. (If your subject is not dead, imagine he/she died.) Bring your draft work tomorrow!


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