“Each unique life deserves a unique Life Story.”

A loved one dies. Quickly, a funeral or memorial service needs to be planned.  It’s one of the biggest special events in most of our lives, yet few of us plan ahead for the actual time.  Unlike most big events, which are often months in the planning – a wedding, a milestone birthday party, a baby shower – service arrangements must come together in just a matter of days and plans are often made in the midst of deep sorrow.

AfterWords can help with what is often one of the most difficult parts of the planning: writing the life story for a loved one.  Our memories sustain us and we can help to create the kind of lasting memory that a life well lived deserves. 

Some people are too numb with grief.  Some are overwhelmed with planning the details of the funeral or memorial.  Others may simply not know how to write their loved one’s life story.  AfterWords life storiesare unique obituaries that weave together the personal fabric of a person’s life to create memorable words for beautifully designed print programs, Web sites or eulogies.  

Our mother died when I was only six years old, so the father of 10 became both mother and father. As they say in my hometown of Hayti, Missouri, I am the "knee baby," the next to youngest child who was big enough to sit on my mother’s knee when my baby brother, Roy, was born. When my beloved father died in 1992, this knee baby entered the strange, strange land of the grieving who must plan a funeral. I knew I wanted to tell my father’s life story; it was the first time I wrote an obituary. But it was not the last. I found that I could offer and receive comfort by helping others with the telling of their loved ones’ life stories.

After more than 25 years as a corporate and nonprofit communications professional, my life’s journey has led me to AfterWords.

For five years, I wrote obituaries and profiles for the St. Louis Beacon. I have continued contributing obituaries since the Beacon merged with St. Louis Public Radio in 2014. To read my work, search my name on the home page.

Gloria S. Ross
Story Writer