Tuesday, November 09, 2010
A New Type of Obituary?...Recording it Yourself?
This might seem a bit off topic today, but I had a friend start a part time job reading obituaries. It got me thinking about them in general. I used to read obituaries on and off over the years. I found them fascinating when they actually talked a little about the person's life instead of the standard ones that are more informational and give the family history. My favorites were those that talked about the business or charity that they started and then gave some perspective on what that person thought was important at that time in their lives. After a while, you could get a sense at to which people lived really fulfilling lives as well as what was important to them.
Along those lines, I got to thinking about obituaries in general. I don't know if they have something like this (it would have been smart to google this prior to posting) but it would be interesting to have people record their own obituary. It would work like this: you would go out to an internet site and click on the name for a person that has just died. When you clicked on it, their voice would come on and talk about their life and what they thought was important. There would be time limits of course and prior to that, in the introduction portion, they would list the particulars that "X" is survived by "Y" and "Z" and the number of children.
So how would this work exactly? You'd set up an account at an internet site filled with your particulars (family history, etc.). Then, you'd simply record a few minutes of whatever you thought was important about your life. Each year on your birthday, you could go and update the piece or select the option to leave the recording the same. Since life is unexpected, you'd have a recording that is somewhat current and yet, it's not like you would be asking people to record something prior to their death. In the case of people with dementia, you might choose to leave the recording there when they were vibrant and still had their lives in tact versus recording in the end stages of a disease. In other cases, where someone is in the end stages of a terminal disease and they are aware of it (say the end stages of cancer), they might choose to update it with a new message. Your recording would not become public until you actually died.
When you died, your loved ones could go to the site, click on your name and hear your voice. So many times, people will say that they missed hearing someone's voice or they'll come across a recording of sorts with their voice on it. How nice it might be to hear a loved one talk about how the greatest joy of their life was their family or spouse. It also might be wonderful for grown children, who lost a parent when they were young, to hear their parent's voice and to know how much they were loved. You could add video to this of course and there are probably a whole host of enhancements to make but this is the gist of it.
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