Obituaries as Love Letters

by | Nov 19, 2023 | Her Story | 3 comments

I recently read an obituary of a young 31 man our family knew.  It was horrible.  There was nothing in the obit that really stated how much this young person had to offer prior to his death. Yes, it mentioned the basics; parents, siblings, prior occupation, who preceded him in death, but there was nothing about the things that made him special and who he was.  Anyone in my family, who knew him, could have done a better job.

In contrast, one of the best obituaries I’ve read was written by my friend (and editor) Carla, for her mother Geri.  It was filled with details about Geri, but primarily focused on Geri’s love for her family.  It was absolutely beautiful and brought me to tears.

As morbid as this sounds, I’ve been writing obituaries in my head for those whom I love for as long as I can remember.  Writing obits requires one to remember the most important aspects of the loved ones life and if you write from the heart, they end up being such a tribute to them.

Essentially, Obituaries are nothing but love letters to our dearly departed!

So I started to think that instead of writing these “I miss you so much” memories in my head, maybe a better use of my heart and brain energy would be to write the actual Obit while the loved one was still alive and then send it as a love letter!  An added bonus of doing this now is that I will already have it done in advance of the death that comes to all of us eventually.  I don’t think anyone is ever in good enough shape to write something decent when they’re in the middle of grieving the loss of a loved one.   And since it’s in document form, I can continue to add to it as the years go by.

I started this post about 5 days ago, and since then received the devastating news that my Father in laws lung cancer has returned.  To say I’m distraught is an understatement.  It didn’t hit me until this morning when I took my own advice and started writing a love letter to him.  He’s already beaten cancer twice so none of us are giving up on hope that he will beat it a third time. The hat trick to kicking cancer’s ass, so to speak.

Life is so so short.  While death is inevitable, it always seems to come too soon, when it comes to our parents.  Even if a parent reaches the age of 100, it still feels too soon.

I don’t want this blog post to turn into an obituary, because my FIL is still alive and kicking!  So, I’ll have to wrap this up and just say this;  DO NOT WAIT to share your love and feelings with your loved ones.

Do it today. Do it now!

And remember ….LOVE is a verb! It’s an action word.
Take the actions today to demonstrate to those you love, what they mean to you.

About Me

In February 2022, I was diagnosed with brain cancer and it changed my whole life perspective. This blog is dedicated to my Journey through cancer diagnosis, recovery, and finding the humor in life.


  1. Mary Beth Shaw

    Beautiful post as usual! That poem is one of my favorites! I managed to read it at my husbands funeral without completely loosing it which was difficult. Keep up your good works with these posts!

    • Julie Kurtz

      Love you MB!!! Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving 🦃 xxoo

  2. Don Evans

    Another great post! So sorry about your father in law!! Sounds like he’s a fighter! I’ll include him in my prayers.

    A great idea, to let how someone has impacted you BEFORE they die.

    Hope your Thanksgiving was a great one!


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