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How to Write an Obituary

When someone you loved has died, it can help to learn how to write an obituary which memorializes the person they were and what they meant to those whose lives they touched.

Obituaries are the things we read when we want to know if our awful ex has died yet. Or maybe her husband. That would be fine too. But when it comes to writing one for a loved one, things can get a little tricky. You’ve read the ones that are too long and too sappy, but you also don’t want to be too funny and make light of the death. You need professional writing advice (just another burial expense) for how to write an obituary, but you don’t want to give the task to anyone else.

Are You Creative?

But the truth is that if the deceased has not already included their obituary in their funeral insurance and planning materials, it’s time for you to write the obituary. You can be create and try write a poem, though you don’t want to begin with ‘There once was a girl from Nantucket…’ Limericks should not be used. At all. Or you can find a poem from a good poet and use it to commemorate the person, then list the surviving members of the family and their relationships to the deceased.

Checklist For How To Write An Obituary

First of all, make sure the name of the deceased person is there or else no one will know who you’re writing about. And you will also want to include something about the family structure, the spouse, etc. This is going to make sure those family members feel recognized and that they are a part of the funeral process as well. If it’s not too horrifying, you might want to include some mention of how the person died (i.e. a long illness). Avoid things like suicide and a gory car accident.

If the deceased belonged to some organizations, you might want to list these, as well as any offices they may have held. When they were revered at their job, a mention of their profession might also be a good idea. You can also include anything that the person might want to be remembered for… six toes on the left foot, discovering the Internet, etc.

At the end, you will want to talk about the funeral and the memorial service arrangements, assuming you want people to show up. If the services are private, keep them out of the paper. You might also want to include a note about which funeral home is handling the arrangements and where flowers of donations might be sent in memory of the deceased.

Obituaries may not be very humorous or exciting, but they’re certainly easier once you know what to include. And you’re a much better writer than your Uncle Bob, anyway.