Preparing an obituary for a loved one can be an emotional task to take on.
If you’ve been given the responsibility of writing an obituary for a recently deceased loved one, you would want to approach it with a lot of thought and care.
A well-written obituary can convey the emotion of losing a loved one and the comfort that they brought you in their presence. It also effectively communicates the passing of a loved one to the community and announces relevant memorial information.
If you’re unsure about how to convey the loss of a loved one through words and what to include to inform the community about the passing, try following this guide to help you with preparing an obituary during a period when emotions are high.
1. Announce the passing of your loved one
Start by mentioning the name, age, residence, and time and place of death. Since this is a statement that announces the passing of your loved one, there are certain variations that you can use such as ‘passed away’ or ‘surrounded by family.’
It’s also completely up to you if you want to include the cause of death in the obituary. While some may prefer to keep it private, others may want to include the cause, but you’re under no obligation to share the cause.
2. Include a short biography
Important events and special connections and contributions that your loved one went through can be included in as few words as possible. Avoid adding events in chronological order and instead, give meaningful details.
You can bring life and add emotion to an obituary by adding a quirky habit that your loved one had or a unique and memorable way they expressed themselves.
3. Add a list of surviving family members
Getting caught up in planning a funeral or memorial service for a loved one might lead to forgetting to mention an important relative.
To avoid this, you can start by listing out the closest living relatives such as spouses, children, and grandchildren. When listing relatives, make sure to use their first names. For spouses, include the first name in parentheses followed by the surname.
4. Mention service times
Depending on the traditions you choose to follow, make sure that the obituary has the date and time of the service along with information about the officiant as well as the time and place of the burial or cremation.
This is pertinent information to include since anyone who may want to pay their respects can find out the details through the obituary.
5. Insert a personalized message
The end of an obituary can usually have a heartfelt message, a short prayer, or a line from a poem. You don’t have to include a message, but it can fill in that personal touch of what you couldn’t enclose in the body of the obituary.
You may even opt for a lyric from their favorite song or a quote they lived by to make it a fitting tribute to your loved one.
6. Attach photos
Adding images to an obituary may cost more, but it’s a useful feature to have for readers to recognize your loved one and be informed of their passing among many other obituaries.
It also serves as a reminder that your loved one is cherished by many and will be deeply missed.
A helpful guide to preparing an obituary for your loved one can simplify the writing process
The main purpose of an obituary is to officially acknowledge the passing of a loved one and how they impacted you and your family’s life while expressing your grief.
What you choose to include in an obituary to announce the passing of a loved one is completely up to you, but it’s important to make the obituary meaningful, informative, expressive, and easy to read.
Make sure to get the assistance you require as obituaries vary depending on the relationship you had with your loved one. Obituaries and funeral notices for a parent, for example, would differ from the same for a friend.
To ease the emotional toll the writing process may take on you, you may want to consider a funeral service provider to take care of all other aspects of your loved one’s funeral.