Writing an obituary can be a daunting task, which is why man people let the funeral director or newspaper staff write one. However, they will likely only write a recitation of facts and biographical information about your loved one’s life. While there is nothing wrong with a summary of your loved one’s life, a more meaningful obituary can be achieved by celebrating their life through an obituary. Not only can a well-crafted obituary be a way to honor your loved one, but it can serve as a cathartic moment for yourself and possibly help with your own grief and emotion.
6 Tips for Writing an Obituary
Celebrate Their Life
What defined your loved one? What was there greatest passion? It may be a hobby, charity, or their family. This is what they will be remembered for by friends and family and it should be front and center in their obituary.
Interesting Facts About Your Loved One’s Life
Every person leads an interesting life. What was an interesting fact about your loved one? Was there something that demonstrates how different their childhood was from currently? Did they live or travel someplace extraordinary, perhaps their job required something extraordinary. An interesting fact can illuminate your loved one’s life in a way that simply listing a vacation or job will not.
Include Memorial and Funeral Service Information
Make sure to include the time, date, location of all memorial, and funeral services. Also include the requested dress and whether you would like flowers or a donation in lieu of flowers. This is proper to include in the obituary and will help save you from having to answer these questions for people right before the memorial service will be held.
Include Children and Grand-Children
Include those who are close to your loved one, especially close family members. Spouse, children, grandchildren (for the way to list family members, read Article on obituaries). Many people will also include pets and great-grandchildren if relevant.
Read The Obituary Out Loud
One of the best ways to check any writing is to read it out loud. Does it flow and make sense when you speak it? While obituaries and eulogies serve a different purpose, imagine reading your obituary as a eulogy. Would it be a fitting tribute to your loved one? If yes, then you have written a good obituary for your loved one.
Decide Where You Will Be Submitting It
In days gone by you would submit the obituary to a local newspaper or have the funeral home do it on your family’s behalf. However, with the advent of the internet, increased mobility of many people, and the general decline of local newspapers this is not always the best option. Newspapers also commonly have character or word limited and charge by the character. This can be more expensive than you would think. You should also take into account who you are trying to reach with the obituary. If your loved one’s friends and family are spread throughout the country it doesn’t make sense to necessarily submit it to a local newspaper (even if it will be posted by them online).
You may want to post an obituary as part of a Tribute page on Obitia, it is free and you can share it through social media and email. This can be done in conjunction with other methods.
If you follow the 6 tips for writing an obituary above and consult our obituary templates and samples you should be able to write a loving tribute to your loved one. It will provide joy to those who knew them and helpfully be the first step in coming to terms with the loss for both yourself and those who read it.
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