Our seminar assists your staff in writing more meaningful obituaries for your families


Designed for a funeral home staff, and adaptable for any group, our simple, hands-on course teaches you to create an eloquent, heartfelt obituary. Recounting life details helps us understand and remember what we treasure most about each other.


When you work with a family to shape a life story into an obituary, you create a memorable experience which helps them heal. Every shared detail leads to greater appreciation for one’s unique legacy and life story: a profound gift to your families that lasts forever.


The power of online sharing exponentially widens your funeral home’s reach. An obituary creates history. Written well, it elevates your funeral home to even greater excellence. Our seminar will also change how you view and facilitate memorialization.

“To observe attentively

is to remember distinctly.”

— Edgar Allan Poe


"In my 28 years as a funeral director, I’ve never had a family call an obituary fabulous or beautiful. Now we hear this regularly, thanks to Kitty."

- Matt Jones, Law-Jones Funeral Home

"Kitty wrote my mother’s obituary, and that experience changed the entire event for our family. People commented repeatedly on how wonderful it was. Sharing stories was therapy for all of us. My father will forever cherish the beautiful words Kitty used to describe my mother’s life."

- Marybeth Mills, Big Indian, NY

"Working with Kitty is an absolute pleasure, not to mention an education in the finer points of writing."

- Larry Ruhl, author, Breaking the Ruhls

"Kitty provided varied activities, discussion, and materials for further reference. She did not waste one minute of our time together. My best take-away from the course was learning to use every word and sentence for the most concise and descriptive result possible."

- Seminar attendee Heather M.


An obituary should capture a person’s individuality, and their unique story. The words will be read over and over, by family and friends. Your words will help legacies and stories live forever.

But the most important thing you do when writing an obituary happens before you get one word written. When you listen to a family talk about the person they’ve lost, you allow them to reflect, remember, laugh, cry, and start healing.

The Healing Obituary™ writing seminar shows you and your staff how to ask the questions that lead to a meaningful re-telling of a life story.

You'll learn:

  • Why and how to include specific, meaningful details
  • How to shape those details into a concise obituary people love to read and share
  • How to use what you learn in the family obituary conference to make the life celebration even more personal and unforgettable
  • How to incorporate the obituary into pre-planning

The online training is 2 hours. On-site training is also available, and can be customized to fit your staff’s schedule and needs. Kitty, a veteran teacher, makes sure you leave with the skills to improve your obituaries immediately.

Kitty also offers custom obituary writing, and copywriting for your website and marketing materials.

Let’s get started! Contact us today for details and pricing.




Photo by Franco Vogt

Kitty Sheehan

The Healing Obituary™ co-founder Kitty Sheehan writes, edits and teaches in New York’s Hudson Valley.

After writing obituaries for family and friends, Kitty understood the healing potential involved in the process, and her passion for sharing this experience was born.

Kitty has talked obituaries on air, with Conan O’Brien on his podcast, and several radio shows. She has contributed essays to published anthologies and magazines.

Kitty’s essay on family grief, The Strongest Woman in the Room, was published in October 2018 on Longreads.com, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and was cited by Harvard’s Neiman Storyboard as an example of unique and engaging storytelling.

Kitty is a native Iowan, but when she discovered the Hudson Valley, she found home. She lives in Hurley, NY, with her husband, Mark Cuddy.


Mark Cuddy

Co-founder Mark Cuddy started his career in funeral service at 9 years old, at Carson Funeral Home in Dayton, Iowa, where he tagged along with his older brother Dick, who was employed there.

After college, he returned to the business, as the eastern Iowa sales rep for Aurora Casket.

Mark moved to the east coast, where he was national sales rep for Tributes.com, introducing an obituary platform to funeral home websites.

In 2013, Mark accepted the position of Director of Membership and Development at Selected Independent Funeral Homes, and for the next seven years, he consulted with and learned from some of the best funeral homes in the US and worldwide.

Mark brings this wide range of experience to The Healing Obituary™, offering customization and suggestions for seminars.

Mark lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with his wife, Kitty Sheehan.