June 9, 2017

Writing An Obituary

Writing an obituary after your loved one passes away can seem like a daunting task, especially since you’re already dealing with grief and many other stressors at the time. You might be thinking “I’m not a great writer,” and “How can I possibly do my loved one justice in such a small amount of space?” You don’t need to be a great writer, and you don’t need to account for every moment that person lived in order to honor them properly. Take a breath, and follow these simple instructions below.

Start with the basic facts. These include his/her name, age, date of death, and surviving relatives. You can list surviving relatives in the following order: spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, and siblings. Adding nieces and nephews is optional. You can also consider adding the deceased one’s employment, clubs and activities he/she belonged to.

Don’t just list the basic facts. Highlight what made that person’s life extraordinary – every life is! Did they accomplish something great? Were they a marathon runner, an avid knitter, a wine enthusiast, a hiker? Did they have a wicked sense of humor or a unique hobby like collecting baseball cards or antique teapots? Don’t be afraid to be colorful and light.

Say your thank you’s. Did a particular church or organization help you, your family or the deceased? You can thank them for their support.

Funeral plans and donations. Do you know when and where the service is being held? If so, list it at the end of the obituary along with where people can donate, if it’s applicable.

Proofread. It’s easy at a time like this to make a few mistakes. Have someone else read it for spelling mistakes and/or fact checking before submitting.

Put yourself in his/her shoes. Think to yourself – is this how I would like to be remembered?