A Guide to Writing an Obituary
- The Benefits of Pre-Planning
Experts in direct cremation, committed to help you in difficult and stressful time of death in the family.
- Guide to Writing a Eulogy
Keeping some guidelines in mind during the writing process can make the task less difficult, resulting in a eulogy that lovingly and respectfully commemorates the life of a loved one.
- 4 Ways to Write an Obituary - wikiHow
How to Write an Obituary. Writing an obituary is a way to honor your loved one's life as well as to announce their death. It can be a painful process, but it's a way to celebrate your loved one's passions, achievements...
Writing an obituary is an important responsibility, and can sometimes feel overwhelming. Obituaries must include certain basic information, but should still capture the spirit of the deceased and honor their life. Writing an obituary that is a worthy tribute can be challenging, but if you follow a few guidelines you can help ease the burden and create a memorable and meaningful tribute.
Take the time to do some preliminary research to avoid unnecessary backtracking or misunderstandings. Many publications have restrictions regarding obituaries. Length restrictions, for instance, will limit the inclusion of personal anecdotes. Certain style guidelines will influence the overall tone.
You can find a publication’s guidelines online or in the obituary section itself. A careful inspection of these guidelines is strongly recommended. A funeral director can be an invaluable resource while navigating these guidelines. Many funeral homes offer advice and assistance with the formalities associated with announcing a loved one’s passing, in addition to traditional cremation services.
The obituary itself should reflect the personality and life of the deceased, as well as include some basic information to help friends and relatives identify the person, including:
- The name of the deceased, including middle name, maiden name, married name(s), and any nicknames.
- The date of any important life milestones, such as date of birth, wedding(s), and death.
- The names of close relatives, such as spouse(s) and children, predeceased or surviving.
- The city or town where the deceased grew up and where they were living at the time of their passing.
If space and/or budget permits, additional details can be included, including but not limited to:
- Educational background, e.g., schools attended and degrees earned.
- Place of employment.
- Military service.
- Organizational affiliations and memberships.
With the exception of a small headshot, photos are not typically included as part of an obituary. But if space and budget permits, they can make a lovely and personal addition. Photos are a good way to memorialize special and loving moments in the deceased’s life.
Short, meaningful anecdotes are another wonderful way to personalize an obituary and highlight a loved one’s contributions and achievements. Stories can be funny, inspiring, or both, depending on the personality of the deceased and what he or she would have liked. These glimpses provide a great way to remember and honor a life richly lived.
Details regarding funeral or memorial services may be included if they are open to the public. If the funeral will be private, this information can be omitted. If service arrangements are incomplete, readers can be directed to contact the funeral home for further information. Lastly, any instructions for people wishing to express their condolences through flowers, a memorial contribution or personal messages can be included at the end.
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