Journalists use the term “barf draft” to mean a rough draft that’s written (or recorded and then transcribed) all at once, without stopping to think or correct yourself or look up missing information. Once you create a barf draft of an obituary, you might still spend hours (days, even?) fleshing out and polishing it. But at least you have something to work with besides a blank screen.
Start with a mindmap or wordcloud and go from there. Click here to download a sample barf draft. For a full explanation, visit the Obituary Writing page and click Step 2: The Barf Draft. See also my YouTube playlist, Step-by-Step Obituary Writing, and download your Quick-Start Guide to Writing an Online Obituary.