An Obituary Costs How Much

The sticker shock of obituaries is … something. If you’re trying to think of a thing that costs a lot but delivers so little, you probably won’t find a better example than a traditional obituary.

There’s something undeniably intriguing about turning to the obituary section in the newspaper. The page has this unique way of reflecting the history of a town, a city, a country, a world – with such simple elements. But do the individual obituaries really capture the history of a colorful, complicated, beloved person? Nope. Sure, you get the general names, dates, locations, but that’s mostly it. Because in most cases, the cost of the obituary costs us getting to know the richness of their life.

If you’ve found us here at Epilogg, you probably have some idea of the cost of traditional obituaries, but if you don’t, let’s knock your socks off. The average price of an obituary in the US is $750 for a one-day run in a medium newspaper. It gets you about 200 words to sum up a person’s existence. Add in more days, more text, more anything, and you can see the smoke coming off your credit card.

And that made us realize the obituaries we do have on record are of the people who were able to pay for it. But what about all the people who found it cost prohibitive? Where are their stories? What kind of history has been lost by making a death tribute something only people with money can get?

Newspapers gotta make money, we get it, but when you treat obituaries like a classified ad, it forces the author to leave out the most important parts: the LIFE in those lives. And to share those stories is such a gift to those who remain and to those who are now gone.

To date, the obituary has been a simple historical record, but it could also be so much more. Fill it with memories, the “so them” characteristics, the unique way they went about life. When someone dies, this is it; this is our chance to tell the world they mattered. And Epilogg is the place to share the stories that wouldn’t make it into print, to connect people far and wide. It’s impossible to capture the beauty and humor and mess and joy of one person’s life when you’re worried about how much each extra comma will cost.

So don’t have that worry. Create a free Epilogg. Use as many photos as you want (yes, even the ones they’d say “I can’t believe you’d share that one!”). Use as much text as you want to tell as many stories as you can. Add to it over time and visit anytime, like you would a gravesite. Priceless, isn’t it?