Tips for Writing the Best Obituary

Tips for Writing the Best Obituary

September 16, 2021

Inevitably, our loved ones will die—and so will we. When the time comes to announce the news, obituaries can provide comfort as well as inform distant friends and relatives about the death. A well-written obituary isn’t just a notification. It can be a touching tribute to someone who impacted our lives and won’t soon be forgotten. In some cases, truly exceptional obituaries go viral, creating one last opportunity for the deceased to make their mark.

Understanding how to write an obituary using a sample or template is the key to creating a thoughtful tribute to others. When you’re in the midst of your grief, that can be difficult. Here’s how to write the best obituary for your loved one.

What should go into an obituary?

An obituary needs to include some basic details about the deceased, but there may be other information you’d like to include. Here are some specifics:

  • Key facts: There are several key facts that usually go into an obituary: the person’s name, age, birthplace, death date, location and the cause of death. Many people add information about whether the person was married, had children or grandchildren and what kind of work they did. Write these down first, then build the obituary around them.
  • Personal details: Next, think about personal details that made this person unique. Perhaps their life’s work was to collect every pre-1970 original Barbie doll—and they succeeded. You might want to include their most memorable qualities, whether they were lovable curmudgeons or hopeless romantics.
  • Memorable stories: You can always reach out to other loved ones for some memorable stories—more often than not, people are happy to reminisce about the wild, silly, touching or impressive feats this person accomplished.
  • A sense of the person’s style: Finally, if you feel it’s appropriate, give a sense of their personal style. Whether they were a die-hard 49ers fan, much to the dismay of their East Coast relatives, or couldn’t pass up a bookstore without buying something for their library, these details will give readers a true sense of who the person was.

Tips for writing an obituary

Of course, writing an obituary when you’re struggling with grief is difficult. There are some ways to make it a little easier to cope with.

First, try writing it in the present tense—then you can switch to past tense later. This helps you focus on what you want to say, rather than the fact that they passed on. Start with the key facts and personal details listed above, then flesh it out a bit more.

Second, give yourself a break. You don’t have to write a funny obituary, although that can be a nice tribute to someone who was known for their sense of humor. It also doesn’t have to be “perfect.” Cramming an entire lifetime into a few short paragraphs is difficult.

Finally, ask your friends and family members for help if you want or need it. People who may not be as close to the loss will often be happy to review, edit or offer suggestions.

Knowing how to write an obituary is just part of the process. When you need a beautiful monument for your loved one, call Phillipsburg Memorial Company today.

Categorised in: