How to Write an Obituary?

Losing a loved one can be a difficult experience to undergo. However, preparing an obituary for them can sometimes be not only a way to honour them but also for the rest of the family members to celebrate his/her life and cope with the grief. Obituaries can not only give the information about the funeral such as the date and venue of the memorial service but also can sketch the life of those who passed away. Here are some steps you can follow to prepare an obituary to honour your loved one.

Name and Time of Death

Take the first few lines to announce the name or the deceased and the time of death. You can also include where they lived. Some include the cause of death too but this it is for you to decide whether you need to include it or not. Keeping these first few sentences short and precise will help you to add more information about their life in the later sentences. It is ok however to use some long phrase or flowery sentences if you are not comfortable with using short and blunt terms. For example, if you are uncomfortable with using the term ‘died’ you can use terms such as ‘passed away’ or ‘went to be with the lord’.

Short Summary of Their Lives

Keep the next few paragraphs to include a short summary of the life of the deceased. This can include details such as the city she/ he was born, their parents, and some important events that happened in their life. Some of these details can be their education, marriage, work etc. Also remember that this is not an official document so any detail you feel like should be included can be written or anything you want to be omitted can be removed. When listing the important milestones of their life, you can either list them chronologically or in the order you think is important. For example, if you feel like including information about their marriage before the education, then you are free to do so.

Family is Important

Mentioning the closest of the family members in an obituary is very important. Most newspapers announce the names of the closest relatives such as parents, or grandparents. But in obituaries that have extended details, especially in websites that publishes death notices Melbourne or any other area, relatives also include spouse, children, siblings and even great-great grandchildren. Make sure no one is missed out when you are including the names of the relatives. If you are not sure whether you have the names of all the grandchildren or great grandchildren try stating ‘many grandchildren’ to make sure no one left out.

Mention the Important Details about the Funeral

Some of the important and must include details on this part are time or the funeral or the memorial service, date, and place, name of the officiant, time, date and place of burial, and place and time of visitation. This detail is essential if you are holding a public service, so that others will know where to visit in if they wish to attend the memorial or the burial. Once the service times are written down, you can conclude the notice by mentioning any other special messages such as a short prayer or a line from a verse at the end.

Once the obituary is done, read it again so that you can correct any mistakes, adding or removing details that you missed or feel like not sharing publicly. You can always get the help of oyur funeral director in writing an obituary.


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