Writing an obituary for your loved one is a significant way to celebrate and cherish their life and story. Obituaries acknowledge the loss, inform family and friends, and invite them to attend the funeral and offer support.
An obituary records our loved one’s story so it can be cherished forever. An obituary pays tribute by saying something about their story and character, which is far more meaningful than a simple death announcement. You can do this by sharing a story from their life, their accomplishments, their hopes and aspirations, their loves and what they mean to you. The best obituaries often talk about all of these parts of a person’s life.
Writing an obituary can feel intimidating and overwhelming. The responsibility of writing about a loved one who has died can be emotionally difficult. You also may worry about forgetting important details or that the obituary won’t fully honor your loved one’s life. This is why pre-planning the obituary is important.
Speaking with a loved one about their life can give you a chance to be insightful about your family history and to reminisce about your loved one who has passed. Some people write their own obituaries ahead of time, adding a personal perspective on their own life story and to share wisdom to friends and family.
Most people write an obituary in the aftermath of your loved one’s passing. The obituary is just one of many things to be done during this emotional and exhausting time.
Funeral directors at a funeral home are also great resources, as they can help with many details related to your loved one’s death, including drafting and publishing the obituary in local newspapers. Check with newspapers for publication deadlines and pricing if you are writing the obituary on your own.
Essential Parts of an Obituary
- Death announcement
- Life story
- List family member
- Memorial/funeral information
- Any charity information
- A photo
Here is a guide on writing an obituary and the important information to include within it. Feel free to be creative, some of the most beautiful obituaries are ones that are unique and don’t necessarily follow the standard structure. However you choose to write your obituary, be sure also include as many of these key details as you can.