Following the passing of a loved one, you may want to write a meaningful obituary to publish in your local papers or on social media announcing the death. At the very minimum, an obituary informs people that a death has occurred and sometimes includes the details that concern the funeral or memorial service. An obituary can also provide a heartfelt and meaningful summary of a person’s life and the legacy they leave for their immediate family and loved ones. So, to help everyone within our local community, we have written this blog as a guide to writing a meaningful obituary for a person who has passed away.
Before You Write An Obituary
Before you write an obituary, you should plan ahead and check with your local newspapers to see if they have any publication requirements such as how long the obituary can be and what the publishing costs are. If you wish to publish an obituary in a particular newspaper, you should also have a look at their obituary section and take note of what information and format they publish. This will help you tailor your writing, so it isn’t too long or too short. However, if you only intend to publish an obituary on social media, then the length doesn’t (unless it’s Twitter where you are restricted to 280 characters). One thing to be aware of is that if you plan on publishing an obituary in a newspaper, then including a photo of those who have passed away might be subject to an additional fee.
Writing The Obituary
Figuring out how to write an obituary and where to begin can feel like a daunting task. Before you begin, we recommend speaking to family members and friends that were close to the person who has passed away. There might be certain things that they want to the public to know, such as their life achievements. They also may or may not want the funeral details announced in the obituary. It is also a good opportunity to reflect on your time with your loved one, as this will help when it comes to writing the obituary. The most important information to include in an obituary is the deceased’s name, age, place of birth, date of death and place of death. You might also want to include the cause or suspected cause of death. But, it’s very important to discuss this with family and friends as they might not want this sensitive information to be shared with the public.
You could also include other information that is relevant to your loved one such as when and where they were born, their immediate family and close family members, favourite songs, anything they contributed to the local community, their education or sporting achievements and funeral wishes (such as their preferred funeral director). Some people also choose to include a poem to accompany an obituary. This can be a poem that your loved one liked or one about remembrance and bereavement.
Many people get stuck when it comes to writing an obituary, so these 2 examples are to serve as a guide to writing one that can help you get started and plan ahead for when you need to write one.
Stephen Rogers, 55, of Southend on Sea, Essex, passed away at home on the 18th February 2020. The beloved husband and father is survived by his wife, Emily, 51, and his daughter Elizabeth, 13.
The funeral service will be held at Southend Crematorium, Sutton Road, Southend-On-Sea, SS2 5PX at 13.00pm on Sunday 1st March. All welcome. Please make any charitable donations to St. Lukes Hospice.
A slightly longer obituary would include more information about the person’s life.
Stephen Rogers, 55, of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, passed away at home on the 18th February 2020. The cause of death is currently unconfirmed. The beloved husband and father is survived by his wife, Emily, 51, and his daughter Elizabeth, 13.
Stephen attended The University of West London where he studied English Literature. He then went on to become an English teacher at Southend High School for Boys. He was also an active member of the university’s football team and helped lead them to victory during his time studying there. He was a huge fan of football and supported Southend United from a young age. However, his real passion in life, was his family.
He would often visit his brother James and his wife at their home in Norfolk. It is here where he would spend quality time with his 2 nieces, Lauren, 10 and Sophie, 13.
As per Stephen’s funeral wishes, the service will be held at Southend Crematorium, Sutton Road, Southend-On-Sea, SS2 5PX at 13.00pm on Sunday 1st March. All welcome. Please make any charitable donations to St. Luke’s Hospice.
Proofread The Obituary Before It’s Published
Once you have written an obituary for your loved one, make sure that you proofread it a few times and have someone else check it from spelling and grammar mistakes. Once it has been checked, you can then decide whether you want to shorten it or make it a bit longer to include more information about those who have passed away.
Get Help From a Local Funeral Director
If you would like to discuss writing an obituary for your loved one, please get in touch with our friendly and compassionate team through our contact page today. We can advise you on what to include, where it can be published in the local papers and answer any questions that you might have. We would also be happy to proofread the obituary, can offer some suggestions if you’re stuck and help you with the funeral planning.