How to write an obituary
An obituary should be written as soon after a death as possible. The idea is to let people know that someone has died and to let them know details about when the funeral will be and where it will take place.
The challenge is often that the obituary should include various details about the deceased, which may not be known by the person composing the piece. They may have to consult with other family members, and this can be overwhelming at a time when this person is coping with their grief at losing their loved one.
As it does with eulogies, Above and Beyond Funeral Services can take you through the process of putting together an obituary. They’ll help you with the writing, and they’ll guide you as to what elements should be included. It is possible to ask for help from the funeral director who is handling the service, but this is likely to be more costly.
Any obituary should be more than simply a list of facts about the deceased or a simple chronology of the events in their life. The piece should reflect the personality of the deceased; it should be distinctive and unique.
What made this person special? What made their life unique?
You may wish to include a photograph with the obituary. This is usually done with larger obituaries that occupy more space in the newspaper. But it’s up to the family whether they feel this is appropriate.
The obituary should mention people who were special to the deceased. They might be close family members (brothers, sister, spouses, children, parents) or they may be friends who were important in that person’s life.
Significant events in the life of the deceased may be an important part of the obituary as well. Perhaps they won an important competition or award. Perhaps they were an important member of a particular organization. Or maybe the event you wish to include is of a more personal nature (the birth of children, overcoming a difficult obstacle, etc.).
If the deceased held beliefs that were very important to them, you may wish to refer to them in the obituary. The important thing to keep in mind is what was important to that person, whether or not family members shared their enthusiasm for it.
You may choose to publish the obituary in a newspaper in the town where the decease lived as well as in former cities of residence, where other important friends and family may still live.
Some people choose to write their own obituary and to have a loved one take care of having it published when the time comes. It isn’t easy for that person to be objective, but at least it reflects what’s important to them.
Once the piece is written, take the time to read it over several times, carefully, for mistakes. Misspelled names, incorrect dates and other inaccurate details can be very upsetting for those close to the deceased.