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Original obituaries may have left out details you would like to preserve

Obituaries are not set in stone, especially when they reside on a funeral home’s website. As families delve deeper into ancestry efforts, it is not uncommon to realize you would like information added to existing obituaries for posterity’s sake. Updating an obituary on any website is as easy as uploading a new file.

I wrote the obituary for my high school track and cross country coach, Jack Drankoff, when he passed in 2012 with help from his son, Jack Jr. As complete as we thought that obituary was at the time, Jack’s wife, Faye, saw some gaps in the narrative that we worked together to fix almost 10 years later. The result is a more satisfying version that includes all the information Faye wants future generations to know about her husband. The funeral home has updated the obit on its website, and we have it on our site.

“I was so tired, overwhelmed and emotional when Jack died that I didn’t even want to think about the obituary,” Faye explains. “When Mike called and asked if he could write the obituary with my son’s advice, I was so relieved. All I wanted to do was not think and rest.”

In fact, Faye couldn’t even bring herself to read her husband’s obituary for several years after his passing. It wasn’t until I launched the website that the topic of revising Jack’s obituary even became a topic.

Turning an obituary into a video family history

As long as we were at it, Faye gave me permission to produce a video obituary to accompany Jack’s revised obituary so her grandchildren and newly born great-grandchildren could have a visual story of his contributions to the world. Creative obituaries include far more than a list of jobs and survivors, giving readers and video viewers a more complete story of the person’s life.

Jack’s new video obituary is now part of the digital universe forever. Imagine how nice that will be for future generations to have easy access to this treasure trove family history. Faye couldn’t be more pleased, which is what makes the creative obituary process so rewarding. You can watch the video here.

“(The great-grandchildren) will be so impressed,” Faye says. “They will be able to know the great-grandfather that they never would have known.”

About is a service of professional obituary writer Mike Dauplaise. Contact me to produce your choice of written, audio and video versions of creative obituaries in advance or on short notice. All projects come with 100% satisfaction guarantee and unlimited revisions.