Having an obituary written about you is a sign that you have lived a life of note. You might have done or experienced a variety of things to reach those pages: received a significant award, died in battle, raised notable sums for the local hospice, or massacred one’s own people. Still, the only way to have an obituary published is to have died, just like everybody else before you. Remembering is distinct from memorializing. In the immediate days or weeks after a non-celebrity’s death, local obituary writers search for the facts. This approach is perhaps even helpful to the reader: Who should be referenced in a With Sympathy card? Is there a request for flowers, or charity donations? It is only once the reach of a life has been noted that its impact might then be assessed. Mourners require time to judge how to honor a person’s legacy, This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Nine Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 49 Karin Mamma Andersson Inside the moody, mysterious world of Sweden’s preeminent painter. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Jenny Odell The acclaimed author in search of lost time. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Amalie Smith The Danish arts writer finding clarity between the lines. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Ryan Heffington Meet the man bringing choreography, community and queer joy to the desert. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Nell Wulfhart Advice from a decision coach. Arts & Culture Fashion Issue 49 A World of Difference A fun lesson in cultural faux pas.