With LifePosts, you have several different ways to tell the story of someone’s life. No longer do you need to feel limited to a rigid format of name, rank and survivors. You can tell your story vividly – including photos, videos, audio, documents and, most of all, stories, lots of different stories. Future generations will be able to get a real feel for your loved one’s personality and character, not just their resume.
A few general tips:
Think about who will be seeing it. You want your LifePost to be something that will help future generations understand what was unique and wonderful about your loved one. If you are using one of the public privacy settings – Public or Semi-Public – you’ll also want to include material that might be interesting to people who didn’t know your loved one well, or at all.
Emphasize stories and photos. The most important point is for your friends and family to tell stories – whether with words, pictures, videos or all of them. While offering condolences can be meaningful too, in the long run the greatest gift they can give is to help capture the personality and character of your loved one.
Give details and examples. Details usually convey what someone is like better than general statements. So rather than saying, “He loved great food of all kinds,” try something like, “He loved Philadelphia cheesesteaks and escargot.” If each person puts in a few telling details, pretty soon the points add up to a vivid picture.
Take your time. Unlike a newspaper obituary that has to run the day of the funeral, a LifePost can be created over a long time and continually updated as you think of new things. Take the pressure off yourself. Enjoy the process and the memories it recalls. Don’t try to figure it out all at once.
Invite friends and family. There’s no greater gift that friends and family can give than providing memories and images. Don’t feel shy about asking. They want to help, and this is something concrete they can do. Consider inviting particular sets of friends to particular areas. For instance, invite college friends to go specifically to the area of the LifePost dealing with her college years, so they can reminisce about that in detail.
If you are going to write an article – perhaps because you’re going to place it on another website or newspaper — here are some tips.
- Cover the basics. Remember to include the basics of the life: where the person lived, what he or she did, who are his family and friends.
- Think about the big picture. What did you learn from her? What would he most want to be remembered for? What were her greatest strengths?
- Also think about the little things. Sometimes it’s easier to capture someone’s personality by mentioning smaller things: What made her laugh hardest? What was his favorite music? What were his passions?
- Be accurate. We’re not saying you need to air the dirty laundry. This is an obituary, not an expose. But this is for history. So try to be as accurate as possible.
- What would other people find interesting? If you’re writing this to be read by people who didn’t know your loved one, think about what you’d want a stranger to know most. Be as specific as possible. Examples, details and stories often convey more about someone than adjectives.