How to Write an Obituary

pencil in a hand

Serving as both a written farewell and a notification to the community of an individual’s death and any funeral services that are to be held in honor of the deceased, a commemorative obituary holds considerable importance. If you are coping with the loss of a loved one and are unsure where to begin the obituary writing process, this guide may be helpful.

Know Your Word Limit Communicate with editors of publications in your area to find the newspapers or journals in which you will post an obituary for your loved one. Find out the maximum number of words or lines in advance so that you have an idea how much space you are working with.

Gather Important Information There are some details about a person’s life, death, and family that are incorporated into almost every printed obituary. To ensure that none of these are left out of your loved one’s obituary, make a checklist containing the following data about your loved one:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth, date of death, and age at time of death
  • Most recent place of habitation
  • List of surviving immediate relatives
  • Date, time, and location of funeral or memorial services open to the public

Brainstorm If you have some space and would like to incorporate a brief biographical sketch into the obituary, you may find it helpful to do some brainstorming. Read other obituaries if you are looking for ideas of how to present biographical information.

Write and Review Draft Once you have chosen the educational, career, and personal highlights that you would like to include in your loved one’s obituary, organize them in a neat and concise manner. Once you have completed a draft, have another close family member look it over to verify accuracy and suggest any edits.

Submit Early Ideally, an obituary will be circulated two or three days before the funeral service of the individual to whom it is a tribute. When planning a funeral, prioritize obituary writing because publishing that obituary is a helpful way to inform others of your loved one’s passing and funeral/memorial services.

Are you a resident of the Tacoma area who is looking for a picturesque setting in which to honor your loved one and lay him or her to rest? To speak with a Tacoma area funeral service provider about our beautiful funeral facilities and burial grounds, call Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park, & Crematory at (888) 757-3598.

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