New York State Funeral Directors Association

Writing an obituary

I got this e-mail from one of the numerous genealogy sites I signed up with, and it had a very insightful lead-in: “Every obituary tells a story.”

This is so true. After reading through a couple hundred obituaries, one thing stuck out to me: what comes after “In lieu of flowers.”

Now commonplace, it’s one of the last parts of an obituary – but I believe it’s extremely important, and perhaps it’s taken for granted.

Image of Cemetery in Japan

Similar to American culture, a traditional funeral in Japan consists of o-tsuya (the wake), followed by kokubetsu-shiki (the funeral).

Services may be held in the home, at a temple or funeral home, or at a local hall, with the body present.

Friends and relatives will visit and offer prayers and incense to the deceased, following the prayers and chanting of the Buddhist priest(s).

Jizo-Sama Statues in Japan

There are countless benefits to having family all around the globe, from being exposed to various cuisines at an early age to knowing that there is so much more out there than we can possibly fathom in our little communities.

The opportunity to venture out into the world and pay a visit is definitely one of the highlights.

Our most recent family trip came when my cousin announced he was going to be married in Tokyo, Japan.

Video: Slaves No More

New York's Capital Region honors, re-buries Colonial-era slaves. Found by accident in an unmarked cemetery, scientists pinpointed their African origin and the community held a wake and funeral.

Video: Family History

Today, resources are becoming more widely available, giving people the ability to learn exciting stories about their ancestors. Find 14 great tips on the Blog.


SympathyNotes is written to stimulate discussion of death and grief. Opinions do not reflect the views of NYSFDA.

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