About the Final Story Obituary Planner

Writing obituaries for people that you care about can be a very challenging process. You want to write something that fully honors their memory, but find yourself  having little time to gather the often elusive details about their life.   Adding to the challenge of writing a loved one’s obituary is having to do it when you are grieving. 

 In my work as a writing consultant, certified grief recovery specialist and former newspaper journalist I have written obituaries for many people who have passed away.  I have witnessed how their surviving family members struggled to gather pertinent information about their loved ones lives on short notice because their loss was unexpected and they were unprepared.  I did the best I could to write their loved one’s final story with the information that I had to work with.

Writing obituaries wouldn’t have to be such a stressful process if we took the time to write our own. To make the process easier, I created a guide that encourages us to write our obituary in draft form.   My Final Story Obituary Planner also helps us to tell our story the way we know it and removes the guesswork for those who don’t. 

The Final Story Obituary Planner is a six-step guide to preparing a self-written obituary draft in a way that will allow whoever steps in to complete it to do so with efficiency and ease. The planner is available in a  book version and a fillable PDF download if you want to work on it from your computer. For those who also desire to leave a more reflective legacy of  heartfelt thoughts and personal expressions,the planner also includes tips on how to write a Final Story Essay.  The Final Story Obituary planner also includes pages with space to write first drafts and has forms to help organize biographical information and immediate family connections. 

 The benefits of  having a Final Story Obituary Planner go beyond the instructional information that it provides. and the burden that it can help lift for our loved ones.  Once we complete our planner, we have a set of  historical documents that can be a valuable resource for family and future generations.  Finally, the process of completing the planner can provide special moments of personal reflection, recognition of our accomplishments, and the emotional satisfaction of telling our story the way we want it to be told.   

I took a class with Linda Jones called, ‘Writing Your Final Story’ and it was one of the best investments I have ever made. The planner that she handed out was very instructional and gave me a blueprint for how to write my own obituary. Being able to complete this, leaves one less thing for my sons to do.”

Wanda Allen

My dad died suddenly at the age of 51 from a massive heart attack.  When our parents divorced, my sisters and I struggled to quickly put together accurate information for his obituary. He was so young, we never thought about using a resource like the Final Story Obituary Planner. Now we know better and will definitely use it with our mom.  

Aimee Schmickel Welch

When my brother died, we were mourning his death and trying to write an obituary all at once. We didn’t know where to start. I would have loved to have written a more fitting tribute honoring his life, but  I couldn’t gather my thoughts and all the information in time. The Final Story Obituary Planner is a godsend and a burden lifter. I will be using it to prepare my story in advance, so I can relieve my family of having to go through what I did. 

Debra-Marie Burris

The Final Story Obituary Planner includes:

  • Step-by-step instructions for drafting a high-quality obituary draft.
  • Guide sheet to help organize the written draft.
  • Tips on leaving instructions that will help loved ones complete the final version.
  • Fill-in forms to collect and document personal and family information.
  • Tips on writing a Final Story personal essay.

Once you complete the planner you will have:

  • An obituary draft that is set up for easy completion at the appropriate time.
  • Documentation of your personal history and a family resource for future use.
  • A method of  helping others prepare drafts of their own Final Story. 

Prepare your Final Story -- then get on with your life!