How to Make an Obituary: A Comprehensive Guide | [Insert Company Name]

An obituary is an announcement of a person’s death accompanied by the details of their life. It can be a challenging task to write an obituary that truly reflects the life of your loved one while also being sensitive and respectful to the grieving family. Writing an obituary can feel overwhelming and emotional, especially during a time of loss. However, it is an essential part of honoring and remembering the deceased. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to create a meaningful obituary that celebrates the life of your loved one. Whether you’re writing an obituary for a family member or a friend, our tips and advice will help you craft an obituary that accurately captures their legacy and impact on the world.

What is an Obituary?

What is an Obituary?

An obituary is a written notice that informs the public about someone’s death. It usually includes details about the person’s life, as well as information about any funeral or memorial services that will be held.

Purpose of an Obituary

The primary purpose of an obituary is to announce a person’s passing and provide details about their funeral or memorial arrangements. However, it also serves as a way to honor and celebrate the deceased’s life. By sharing information about their accomplishments, hobbies, and personality traits, an obituary allows friends, family, and acquaintances to remember them fondly and pay their respects.

What to Include in an Obituary

While the content of an obituary can vary depending on the preferences of the deceased’s family, there are several key pieces of information that should be included:

  • The full name of the deceased (including any nicknames or maiden names)
  • Dates of birth and death
  • Information about the surviving family members (such as parents, spouse, children, and siblings)
  • Details about the funeral or memorial service
  • A brief biography highlighting the deceased’s accomplishments, interests, and passions
  • Information about any charitable donations or memorial funds that have been established in honor of the deceased.

Overall, an obituary is an important way to honor and remember a loved one who has passed away. By following some basic guidelines for what to include, you can create a meaningful tribute that celebrates their life and provides comfort to those who are grieving.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Obituary

Gather Information About the Deceased

When it comes to writing an obituary, one of the first steps is to gather information about the deceased. This may seem straightforward, but it’s important to ensure that you have all the necessary details to create a comprehensive and accurate tribute.

Start by gathering the full name of the deceased, including any nicknames or middle names they may have used. It’s also essential to include the date of birth and death, as well as the location where they passed away.

In addition to these basic details, consider including information about the deceased’s family members. This can include spouses, children, siblings, parents, and other loved ones. Including the names and relationships of surviving family members can help others who may be searching for them in the future.

Lastly, take some time to think about the achievements and milestones of the deceased’s life. Were they involved in their community or profession? Did they receive any awards or recognition for their work or accomplishments? Sharing these details can help paint a vivid picture of the person’s life and leave a lasting impression on readers.

For example, if your loved one was a decorated veteran, you may want to mention their military service and any medals or commendations they received. If they were an accomplished artist or musician, you could share some of their notable works or performances.

By taking the time to gather this information, you can create a meaningful and personalized obituary that honors the unique life of the deceased.

Write a Compelling Obituary

Write a Compelling Obituary

Writing an obituary can be a difficult task, but it is also an opportunity to honor and celebrate the life of a loved one. A well-written obituary can convey their unique personality and accomplishments, capturing the essence of who they were and what they meant to those around them. To write a compelling obituary, consider these key elements:

Narrative Tone

One way to make an obituary engaging is by using a narrative tone. Instead of simply listing facts and dates, use storytelling techniques to paint a vivid picture of the person’s life. Start with a hook that captures the reader’s attention, such as a memorable anecdote or a quote from the deceased. Then, use descriptive language and specific examples to highlight their achievements, passions, and personality.

Meaningful Examples

To make the obituary more impactful, include meaningful examples of the person’s life. This could be accomplishments they were proud of, hobbies they enjoyed, or charitable work they participated in. Use concrete details to bring these examples to life, such as describing a painting they created or recounting a volunteer project they spearheaded. By showing the person’s impact on others and the world around them, you can create a powerful tribute.

Avoiding Cliches

While it can be tempting to fall back on cliches and stock phrases when writing an obituary, it is important to avoid them. Phrases like “passed away” or “rest in peace” have become overused and do not add much to the obituary. Instead, focus on creating original language that reflects the person’s individuality and spirit.


Finally, personalization is key to making an obituary compelling. This means tailoring the obituary to the person’s unique qualities and life experiences. Consider including quotes from family members or friends that capture the person’s personality, or mentioning specific memories that highlight their interests and accomplishments. By making the obituary feel personal and authentic, you can create a fitting tribute to their life.

In conclusion, a compelling obituary is one that uses narrative tone, includes meaningful examples, avoids cliches, and is personalized to the individual. By following these guidelines, you can create an obituary that does justice to your loved one’s memory and celebrates their life in a meaningful way.

Choose Appropriate Photos and Design

Choosing Appropriate Photos and Design for an Obituary

When creating an obituary, choosing the right photos and design is essential because it helps to capture the essence of your loved one’s life. Here are some tips to help you select the best photos and design for your obituary:

Selecting Photos

Selecting photos for an obituary can be a daunting task. You want to choose images that convey your loved one’s personality and spirit. Here are some suggestions to help you make the right selection:

  • Choose recent photos: It’s important to choose photos that represent your loved one as they were in their later years. This will help ensure that the people who knew them best can easily recognize them.
  • Include candid shots: Candid shots often capture the true essence of a person. Try to include some candid photos that showcase your loved one’s personality.
  • Consider group photos: If possible, include photos of your loved one with family, friends, or colleagues. This can help demonstrate the relationships they had and the impact they made on others.

Designing the Obituary

The design of an obituary is just as important as the photos you choose. Here are some suggestions to help you create a design that honors your loved one appropriately:

  • Keep it simple: A simple design is often the best choice for an obituary. Avoid cluttering the space with too many images or graphics, which can detract from the message you’re trying to convey.
  • Use appropriate fonts: The font you choose should be legible and easy to read. Avoid using fancy or cursive fonts, which can be difficult for some people to decipher.
  • Add a personal touch: Consider adding a personal touch to your obituary by including a favorite quote or poem. This can help capture your loved one’s personality and spirit.

By following these tips, you can create an obituary that truly captures the life and legacy of your loved one. Remember, an obituary is a celebration of life, so take the time to choose photos and design that honor their memory.

Publishing & Sharing Your Obituary

Publishing & Sharing Your Obituary

Once you have written a heartfelt and meaningful obituary, the next step is to publish and share it with those who knew and loved the deceased. There are several different options for publishing and sharing an obituary, including in traditional newspapers and online publications.

Newspaper Obituary

Publishing an obituary in a local newspaper is a common way to share news of a loved one’s passing with the community. Many newspapers have specific guidelines for submitting obituaries, including the length, format, and cost. To ensure that your obituary is published in a timely manner, it is important to follow these guidelines closely and submit it as early as possible.

Online Obituary

In recent years, more and more people have turned to online obituaries to share news of a loved one’s passing. Online obituaries can be published on dedicated websites or on social media platforms, such as Facebook. This option allows friends and family members from all over the world to access the obituary and leave messages of condolence or remembrance.

Sharing with Family/Friends

No matter where you choose to publish the obituary, it is important to share it with all of the relevant family members and friends. This can be done by emailing it directly to those individuals or by sharing it on social media. Be sure to include any specific instructions regarding funeral arrangements or donations in the obituary so that everyone is informed.

In conclusion, publishing and sharing an obituary is an important step in the grieving process. Whether you choose to publish in a newspaper, online, or both, it is important to follow guidelines closely and to share the obituary with all relevant parties.

Etiquette and Tips for Writing an Obituary

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When writing an obituary, it is important to keep in mind that you are honoring the life and legacy of your loved one. Unfortunately, it is easy for even the most well-intentioned writer to make mistakes that can detract from the overall quality and impact of the obituary. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

Overlooking Important Details

One of the most common mistakes when writing an obituary is overlooking important details about the deceased’s life. It can be easy to focus on the big events or achievements, but it is equally important to highlight the smaller moments and personal qualities that made them special. For example, don’t forget to mention their hobbies, interests, or community involvement. These details can provide a more complete picture of who they were and what they cared about.

Focusing Too Much on Death

While the circumstances of someone’s passing are undoubtedly important, it’s essential not to focus too much on the death itself. An obituary should celebrate the person’s life, rather than just recounting their final moments. Instead, highlight their accomplishments, values, and relationships. Share memories and anecdotes that showcase their personality and character. This will create a more meaningful tribute that honors their life rather than just their passing.


It may seem obvious, but errors can quickly detract from the overall quality of an obituary. Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and inaccuracies can all undermine the credibility of the piece and cause distress for family members. Always proofread thoroughly and consider having someone else review the obituary before publication. This can help catch any mistakes and ensure the final product is of the highest quality.

In conclusion, avoiding these common mistakes can help ensure that your obituary is a fitting tribute to your loved one’s life. By focusing on important details, celebrating their life rather than just their death, and maintaining accuracy and quality, you can create an obituary that truly honors their legacy.

Additional Considerations

Additional Considerations

When writing an obituary, it’s important to consider any religious or cultural customs that the deceased and their family may have followed. If you’re unsure about these customs, consult with family members or a religious leader in the community. Incorporating these customs into the obituary can help honor the person’s life and beliefs.

Honoring military service is another consideration when creating an obituary. This includes identifying the branch of service and whether the individual was active duty or a veteran. You can also include any honors or awards received during their time in the military. It’s important to note that some military families prefer not to disclose this information publicly, so be sure to respect their wishes.

Memorial donations are another way to pay tribute to the deceased and their passions. Instead of flowers or gifts, consider listing a charity or cause that was important to them. This will allow loved ones to make a contribution in their honor. When selecting a charity, be sure to choose one aligned with the person’s values and interests.

Overall, additional considerations when writing an obituary can enhance the overall impact and meaning of the piece. By incorporating religious or cultural customs, honoring military service, and suggesting memorial donations, you can create a thoughtful and meaningful tribute to a loved one.
The process of writing an obituary can be a difficult and emotional task. However, it is also an opportunity to honor and celebrate the life of a loved one. By following this comprehensive guide, you will be able to create a meaningful obituary that captures the essence of the person and their unique journey. Remember to gather all the important information, write a compelling narrative, choose appropriate photos and design elements, and follow etiquette and tips for writing. With these steps in mind, you’ll be able to create an obituary that truly honors your loved one’s memory and leaves a lasting impact on those who read it.

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