Member for
3 years · 10 months · 18 days
Find a Grave ID


"No one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away – until the clock he wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment – until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone's life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence." - Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man

After almost four years on Find A Grave, I continue to be amazed by how many contributors use their bio section to tell the rest us of what to do. Instead, I will share what *I* will or will not do.

I will not cut and paste an entire obituary into a memorial biography. Funeral homes do an amazing job of assisting families with the care of the deceased. Writing obituaries is not their forte. There are only so many times we need to see the words: avid, proud, beloved, cherished, devoted, loving, and adored. There's no such thing as the "Airforce" or a "sargent." No one is PROCEEDED (wrong word) or IS (wrong tense) preceded in death; a person WAS preceded in death or WAS predeceased by those who had passed before them. A biography doesn't need to duplicate information already entered in data fields, include where flowers or donations are to be directed, who is officiating the funeral, when the visitation will occur, or that masks and social distancing are required. Instead, I will respect the individual by taking the time to summarize or paraphrase the available details and facts of their life - that's a biography.

I will list family members, deceased and living. The family has already approved this information to be visible to the world in a published Internet obituary. Those who claim to be protecting the privacy of families or from identity theft are naive. This information is already available to anyone with bad intent. Not listing complete family information, in my opinion, does a disservice to those who research family connections and will be attempting to make future linkages. Living names will be removed upon request from a family member.

I will not list a cause of death if it is related to a congenital or chronic disease. In my opinion, this is personal and private. If the cause of death is due to a sudden illness onset or traumatic injury, I will use respectful judgement in determining what is included.

I will no longer routinely suggest parental connections or birth/death locations for any memorial less than 30 days old when the information is already published in the FaG bio. Many contributors cut/paste the obituary and move on. Those memorials will remain a testament to the ethics of of the original contributor.

I will accept reasonable suggestions, corrections and edits. If the information is novel, the contributor will usually be credited as the source in the bio section. I will also accept reasonable requests for memorial transfers to family and close friends.

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