Obituary as a Craft and a Gift
Imagine attempting to tell someone new about the entirety of a life in 500 words or less. And you have a few days, maybe a week or two, to decide exactly how you're going to do that justice.
You need to talk with your family members, their friends. All the while, try to grieve and keep it together to make all the funeral and service preparations. No big deal.
Who were they? What did they love? How did they struggle? What did they overcome? What gifts did they bring to your life, never mind the lives of every other person they touched?
Remember, 500 words. Clock's ticking.
Newspaper obituaries are expensive. In a smaller town paper, you can expect to pay upwards of $600 for publicizing five hundred words for one day. That's without a picture. Pictures can run hundreds of dollars more. In a bigger city or other venue, obviously it's all going to run you exponentially more.
So. Every. Word. Counts.
What would it be like to give yourself the gift of allowing someone experienced with this process and art to do the heavy lifting for you? To allow yourself to wade more fully and gracefully into your grief, supporting others, and/or making other preparations to honor your beloved?
This is the gift you give yourself and others by hiring a professional obituary writer. It is the gift of ease, an exchange of trust and value for attentiveness, reverence, and skill.
I ask and would be honored to have you trust me with your loved one's memory, and your personal process around loss and change.
Whether over-tipping her server at a restaurant, or saving wild turtles from mowers, Carol Jefford moved through life with a universal kindness and grace. The essence of her light was simply who she was, what she gave, and how she treated others. One of her final acts in this life was composing a graduation card for her daughter's gardener's son's graduation. She always held others in the highest regard, having great faith in other people's character.
Carol had a quiet and humble yet powerful gift of presence. That is, until she was not quiet. She was also outspoken, obstinate, and unapologetically herself. Whether it was staying out until 8AM playing cards at the 500 Club, or drinking more coffee than water and continuing to smoke into her last days, you could count on Carol being herself. She was finicky and gullible, and liked things in a certain way. And. What you saw was what you got—a refreshing genuineness in our world. A chief part of loving someone is acknowledging, honoring, and loving all of them. Carol both did this for and demanded this of others through her fierce authenticity and self-acceptance. She could readily laugh at herself.
Carol Jefford, or “Granny,” was born 3/3/45 in Torrance, CA. to working class parents and was the second eldest of four children. At 15, her mother died unexpected and Carol dropped out of school to work and parent her two youngest siblings as her father traveled for work. This experience reflects her strength and tenacity—a quality everyone in her family associates with and learned from her. Whether it was taking on this early caretaker role or facing substantial health challenges such as the loss of one of her legs, Carol always showed up for the tasks of her life with commitment and perseverance. She never felt herself a victim, and approached life with positivity.
Granny cherished family more than anything else. You could count on her being at any and all softballs games, awards ceremonies, and events. The impetus behind her deciding to proceed with chemotherapy was to live long enough to see her youngest granddaughter graduate from high school. She was steadfast and present. The work she leaves her descendents is one of continuing her humanism, though she may not have called it that—to love others unconditionally, to treat all beings with dignity and hold them in high regard, and to be fiercely authentic and unapologetically yourself. Her example and instruction that was her life, her greatest teaching. She passed in the company of her family on June 5th, 2019.