Perhaps, the loss of a dear one has brought you here. Really sorry for that, but one day or the other, all of us have to leave the world. Writing an obituary could be actually painful, more so, if you were really close to the deceased. But sadly, you’ve no other option now, other than penning down the memories. Coming to the point, an obituary is generally written in a paragraph, and it is focused on deeds of the departed soul. Generally, an obituary is divided into five parts, which include announcement, biographical information, survivors’ information, scheduled ceremonies, and contributions. Here are given some tips as how to write an obituary:
How To Write An Obituary
Points To Include
- Full name of the deceased
- Date of birth
- City and state of residence, where he/she was living when he/she passed away
- Name of significant other (alive or deceased)
- Time, date and place of viewing, burial, wake and memorial service arrangements
- Start with the announcement, which must inform about the person, as in who the deceased was, the date of his/her death, and how did he/she die. Usually, you have to pay for each and every word, so prefer to be short and concise. This information can be summed up in one sentence.
- Now, write down a short biographical note about the person’s life. It must notify where and when the person was born, where he/she spent his/her life, noteworthy awards and times in life, main hobbies, education etc. If the person is young, mention his junior school, high school and college, otherwise just mention high school and college.
- Mention the survivors in the family, including immediate family members (spouse, children, parents, siblings), and secondary family members (aunts, uncles, grandchildren, close cousins).
- Inform when and where the scheduled ceremonies will occur, like memorial services, grave-side burials, etc.
- Conclude the obituary with a statement regarding where memorial contributions or donations can be sent, if applicable.
- Keep a check list by your side, when you are penning the obituary. This will prevent you from making any mistakes, as you can write and check simultaneously.
- Most obituaries are written following a basic noun/verb format. While this may be seen as a little drab, most newspapers prefer this style of writing. However, if your newspaper allows a little more flexibility, you can try a different style.
- Try to include some detail about the deceased in the obituary, which sets him/her apart. However, you may have to do some research to find that detail.
- While there is a space restraint in newspapers, which doesn’t allow you to mention more about the deceased, there are many websites where you can post a full-length obituary. This will also give you the liberty to include all the noteworthy facts about the deceased.
- Always remember that an obituary can be made compelling, by writing more information about the deceased’s life, rather than death. Let the obituary inform about the passing away of the deceased, but the focus should be upon the life he/she lived.