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Writing Obituaries


The writing of an obituary for a loved one whom has passed is a sacred honor and should be taken and treated as such. Much more than simply a "good-bye" to the dearly departed, the obituary tells a story of a life lived, while also serving as official notice to those who would otherwise not be aware of the deceased's passing. It is always a good idea to contact the newspaper before authoring the obituary to allow you to be aware of the space and pricing limitations which you may need to consider. The obituary should appear one or two days prior to the viewing and memorial service, and announce the times of these events, so be sure to plan properly.

Consider opening with the full name, and city and state of passing. This helps readers to be clear on to whom the information refers. Depending on your resources, photos are optional. Mention the city town or village, and state, where the deceased resided at the time of passing. Including the street number is NOT recomended for reasons of security. Touch on significant events in the life of the deceased; include schools attended, degrees and credentials earned, and occupations, vocations, and philanthropic and extracurricular interests.

Next, include a list of who survives the deceased. This list should include parents, spouse, children, siblings, and grandparents. It is customary to expand this list to include cousins, aunts, uncles, or other relatives if the original list produces only one, or possibly no names. However, it is essential to be sure to include the names of all having the same relationship. For instance, avoid referencing one Uncle by name but not another. Once a few Survivors are referenced by name, further expanding the list of survivors is done by referencing the number of survivors and their relationship: for example "5 grandchildren and two great grandchildren." Specific mention of the final resting place is appropriate, as well as mentioning the names of those selected to be Pallbearers. Finally, giving specific details of all viewing, memorial, and interment services is customary.

Reading other obituaries can help you begin. Avoid phrases like "visitation will be from," friends may call from," and "lie in state." These are all inappropriate, poorly worded, or do not normally apply. For persons that lived in other areas, you may consider publishing in other papers out of the area. Obtain or make copies of the listing for memorabilia or to send to persons who could not make it to services. Feel free to consult us with any questions. The paper will contact us to confirm information about services, and we will handle this communication accordingly.

As you author the obituary of your loved one, bear in mind that most papers will charge for the listing based on the number of words it contains. Never put yourself into a financial bind, as your loved one would most assuredly understand. Specific information on pricing and the procedure to place the obituary can be obtained directly from the paper.

In this section

Burial

Cremation

Burial Clothing

Visitation Decisions

Writing Obituaries

Eulogy Preparation

Additional Information

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