Writing Your Obituary


Parade magazine (the one that comes free in most of your Sunday papers) just released their annual What People Earn issue. I always love reading through it. One of my favorite television stars also made the cover this time around- John Krasinski (Jim from The Office). The article lists a big cross-sampling of people around the nation from various occupations. It always makes me think, am I making what I’m worth or what I should be? It’s hard to approximate my career path with the standard ones often shown though, as I’ve created a niche that not many people work in.

This time an occupation grabbed my attention because I actually do the same job, except completely different. One of the profiles was Elinor Brecher, 62yo, who works as an obituary writer in Miami, FL making $75,713 a year.

Let’s get the obvious part right out of the way before I comment further…$75 grand for writing obits? Seriously? How in the world? Okay, now, let’s move on.

As many of you know, a primary facet of my Cultural Architect profession is personal coaching. I encourage and help my clients write their own obituaries. A big caveat of my process is getting people to live their bucket lists and write their own obits while they’re still healthy, alive, and thriving. In other words, what would you want people to read about you when you die?

A loving grandmother with 39 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

A rock climber who died forging a new ascent of an unclimbed mountain.

A serial traveler who simply disappeared one day in an unknown location.

A business owner who used his profits to fund a children’s home.

So I guess I write obits for a living or at least I help write them. It’s up to you to decide what is written. But it’s something you should go ahead and write now before it’s too late.

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5 thoughts on “Writing Your Obituary

  1. Via Facebook- Teresa wrote: “Our preacher had everyone in the church write down how they wanted their funeral conducted and who was to participate etc. That way when it happens, it will save the family alot of stress. Great idea.” (this is my mom…dwp)

  2. As a former news clerk/obits writer who made $600 a week, I was also shocked at Ms. Brecher’s salary. However, if she is in the sales dept and receives a commission on each obit, it might be plausible, especially when you consider the high number of people who retire to Florida. Still, I’d like to have her position.

    • I see what you mean. It does sound weird though to have a commission based obit writer job. On the flip side I’m also pondering now how I could up the sales.

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