Tips for Writing Tasteful and Memorable Obituaries
Article originally appeared on FuneralTech
Writing an obituary is an honour and one to be undertaken with reverence, but it is also a chance for the deceased to speak one last time and to be remembered forever.
If you have to write an obit, look for small details from the deceased’s life. Ask their colleges, teammates, spouse, and children about what they will treasure and keep alive in their memories. Where did he/she find the most happiness? Are there any little quirks to speak of that may jog memories and help in the mourning process?
Writing an obituary that is tasteful and memorable needn’t be a daunting task if you follow the checklist below. Just following this checklist though will result in a safe but dry obituary. For a more memorable obituary, add some or all of these ideas:
Make it Lively
An obituary is a notice of a death but more importantly, a story of a life lived. “Summing up a life is an awesome responsibility,” says newspaper obituary writer Alana Baranick, on her website Death Beat. Focus more on the life lived than on the notice of the death.
Inspire those left behind
An obituary may be the only thing that is ever written about the deceased. It’s an awesome responsibility but it is also a gift, a chance to inspire. Make it full of life and significance, try to show the joy and life shared and lived by the deceased; it will help everyone ground their emotions. If your obituary can somehow inspire the living to live more mindfully with love, you will have succeeded.
Focus on the deceased
Do not start with “the family announces.” Describe the deceased as an individual, give them a name, the name they had in life is still in the hearts and minds of those left behind, so use it.
Show what the person was really like with actual examples and interesting stories. Keep it positive. Mention the person’s hobbies, favourite sports, food, drink and organizations they belonged to. Be careful with quirky or risqué stories though, try to focus on universal moments of laughter and character building moments.
Checklist for a tasteful obituary
- Use the tasteful “passed away” rather than the person “died.”
- Mention the person’s hometown and where they were born and grew up.
- List the names of close family members
- Include the cause of death if the family is comfortable with it
- Note donation or memorial fund information
- Write about the person’s life, profession
- Include the time of the service and the name and location of the funeral home
Latest posts by CDFuneralNews (see all)
- Foundation Partners Group Adds Anderson-McQueen to FPG Family - August 17, 2017
- Sales Professional – North FL/Georgia - August 17, 2017
- On Our Soapbox: The Truth About Cremation | FUNERAL nation 085 - August 16, 2017
You may be interested
Foundation Partners Group Adds Anderson-McQueen to FPG FamilyCDFuneralNews - August 17, 2017
Orlando, FL – Foundation Partners Group (FPG), a leading provider of innovative funeral, cemetery and cremation experiences and products, has…
Sales Professional – North FL/GeorgiaCDFuneralNews - August 17, 2017
Wilbert Funeral Services Inc. is a wholesale product and service provider to the funeral industry. Our manufactured products include burial…
On Our Soapbox: The Truth About Cremation | FUNERAL nation 085CDFuneralNews - August 16, 2017
Cremation truth and Social Media Screwup: Watch Ryan & The Commander tell it like it is on their soapbox! (more…)