How To Write An Obituary

A simple checklist for making sure your obituary honors and informs.

When a loved one has passed away, writing an obituary that honors their life can seem overwhelming. Don’t worry - your obituary will honor their life simply by the act of you writing it. You want to celebrate your loved one’s life and offer happy or enjoyable memories. You are helping to ease the pain of others simply by telling a story about your loved one.

We hope that this checklist will take the stress and pressure off of you and allow you to honor your loved one simply. Remember, your funeral arranger is an experienced professional, and he/she is a valuable resource for writing the obituary.

1. Include all the basic details about the person’s life.

You don’t have to include all of this information, but here are the basics that are often included in an obituary. Choose the elements that are most relevant to your loved one:

  • Age
  • Any familial survivors
  • Education
  • Vocation
  • When the person retired, if relevant
  • Any military affiliations
  • Any volunteer affiliations

2. Include funeral information.

Family and friends often rely on an obituary for information on when and where a person’s life will be celebrated, so your obituary will make it very simple for them to get that information (and will save you the hassle of having to answer lots of questions at a time when you would prefer not to be bothered with small details). You can include:

  • Date and time of the funeral
  • Place the funeral is being held
  • Any viewing details
  • Requests for donations in lieu of flowers

3. Add a few details about the person’s loves and interests.

Need a prompt on what to include? Just think about these questions and the answers will become clear:

  • What will people remember most about this person?

  • Did they have any hobbies or collections?

  • What interesting places had they traveled to?

  • What was their favorite pastime?

An obituary is your chance to tell a story about your loved one and bring color to all the wonderful details of their life. This person was so special to you and it’s great for the world to hear about the life that they led and the honorable person they were. An obituary lives on for a long time, so celebrate your loved one here.

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