A Simple Guide to Writing Obituaries

When you’ve lost a loved one, you are caught up in many powerful emotions. During this time, it can be very difficult to pull together your thoughts to create a lasting tribute, but it must be done. Here’s a simple guide on how to write an obituary for your loved one.

Obituaries can vary: they range from very short up to about 200 words, and may include photos. Most newspapers charge by the word or by the line. You can share the details of your loved one’s life, and mention the important people they’ve left behind.

Most obituary templates include a number of key details about your loved one’s life, though of course you can decide what is most relevant to you and to others who will read the information. You should definitely include your loved one’s full name and age, date and place of birth and death, names of surviving relatives or pre-deceased relatives who were important in your loved one’s life, instructions on any charities you’ve chosen to have memorial gifts sent to, and details of the funeral or memorial service.

You may also want to make your obituary writing more personal by including information about your loved one’s education, employment or military service, and hobbies and interests, as well as any organizations they belonged to, awards they received, contributions they made to the community, and any achievements they were particularly proud of. Adding a short quotation, part of a poem, or bible verse at the end of can be a helpful way to express your feelings.

Once you’ve finished the obituary writing, you’ll have to decide which newspaper(s) you want it published in. Most obituaries are published in local community papers, but there may also be a larger metropolitan newspaper, or even a national newspaper to consider.

Your choice may be made easier by the fact that many newspapers now include online obituaries for free when you pay for a listing in their paper, which extends the geographical reach of the notice of your loved one’s passing. If…

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