When writing an obituary, it’s not always easy to find the right words. If you’re not sure where to begin, follow our easy guide for inspiration.
Why write an obituary?
An online obituary is a way to tell people that a loved one has passed away, it celebrates their life and can provide friends and family members with important information, such as funeral details. It’s a loving tribute that not only helps to spread the word of your loved one’s passing but also tells the story of their life.
What to include in an obituary
There are no set rules when it comes to writing an obituary. It should be personal to you and your loved one. To get started, we’ve outlined some prompts that will help you structure an obituary.
- Include standard details such as name, date of birth, residence and the date of death. This acts as a death announcement to let your community know that your loved one has passed.
- Mention immediate family members such as parents, siblings, a spouse and children. If you’re talking about family members who are still living, you can use the term ‘survived by’ and if you’re mentioning people who have already passed away, you can use the term ‘predeceased by’.
- Write a short biography about your loved one’s life, highlighting key milestones or accomplishments. For instance, education, getting married, having children, causes they supported or hobbies. Sometimes it helps to speak to close friends and family members to gather their accounts and stories too, but don’t feel pressured to include every memory and story – that would be impossible. Instead, focus on the key highlights.
- Make it personal and honour the life-story of your loved one and what was important to them. What were they passionate about? Who did they impact in their life? Are there any long-standing jokes or quirks that are worth mentioning? Don’t be afraid to bring a smile to people’s faces as they remember the unique character of your loved one.
- List funeral details so that community members have the opportunity to attend the service. You can also manage RSVPs through your free In MemorE page.
- Give thanks to hospitals or doctors if appropriate.
- Mention tributes. Are you collecting memorial funds for a charity, memorial tree or bench? Where should people send gifts and flowers? Let people know the best way to pay tribute to a loved one.
- Add a photo of your loved one. You can also encourage friends and family members to add photos and videos to your free online memorE box.
Where to publish an obituary
Traditionally, people published an obituary in a newspaper, but this can be expensive. At In MemorE, we believe that everyone deserves a place to pay tribute to loved one’s and so we’ve made it completely free to create and share an online obituary. You can also make it more personalised than a traditional newspaper obituary by adding photos, videos and messages. Once you’ve posted an obituary, we will give you a customised link so that you can share with friends and family members all over the world.