Obituaries are transcendent, and timeless. Obituaries convey one of the most human parts of being human – obituaries are a sacred way for us to remember the people we love in life, even when they’re not physically with us anymore.
And the coolest part? Every obituary is different. Every legacy is different. Everyone remembers loved ones in different ways, and different moments.
Because our team at Gather is fascinated with obituaries, we decided to thoughtfully analyze over 100,000 obituaries that are available for people to read online.
Buckle in – because when you read this, you’re learning what matters most to people in life.
At Gather, we provide case management software for funeral homes and crematories to help them organize their workflow and provide a better experience for every family they serve.
Beyond the software, we pride ourselves in our work to build a beautiful interactive obituary page for every loved one – we’ve officially coined these interactive obituaries as Remember Pages. You can view an example Remember Page here. Rest assured, this specific Remember Page is not actually real.
Families can visit these Remember Pages for their loved ones forever, where they can upload unlimited photos and memories, share the page for other friends and families to learn about their loved one’s legacy, view the obituary, light candles, and send flowers.
For our analysis, we surveyed over 100,000 Remember Pages to learn what people write about in obituaries. And more importantly, what matters most to us in life.
In total, we analyzed 121,568 Remember Pages, dating back to 2005. In our search query, we removed definite and indefinite articles (such as “the”, “of”, “in”, words of that sort). We didn’t pull in full phrases (such as “funeral home” or “passed away”), but the results are still incredibly fascinating.
Out of respect for the privacy of loved ones and families that are mentioned, no obituaries or Remember Pages will be specified in this data. Our results include 150 of the top words that were mentioned in obituaries (with the exceptions mentioned above). They’re below!
Here are the top 150 words mentioned in the obituaries we analyzed, along with their total word count. Also note: some words may be listed more than once in the same obituary, which will lead to a higher count:
No matter where you live or what your background is in this world, you’re loved by somebody. You’ve made a difference in someone’s life. Your legacy is remembered well beyond your funeral.
And that’s very, very powerful.
So the next time you’re reading your loved one’s obituary, just remember that their memory will live on forever, and their impact can be felt by so many people, no matter how big or small.
We also found that ‘money’, materialistic items, and brands are not mentioned in the Top 150 words.
Contrary to what we may think, people never end up caring about what you own, what brand of car you drive, what brand of clothes you wear, or how much money you make.
They remember your character, and how you treat other human beings. They remember how you carry yourself through the highs and lows that life throws at you.
They remember who you are as a human being, at your core.
At Gather, we’re dedicated to creating a better deathcare experience for both funeral directors and families. Losing a loved one is never easy.
We love funeral directors and firmly believe that helping families through the loss of a loved one is one of the noblest professions.
You can learn more about the story of Gather here. We’re always open to feedback for our Remember Pages as well. If you have any ideas, please feel free to send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.