If you are called on to help with the funeral planning and write an obituary for a recently deceased friend or family member, consider it an honor. This is a way to create a tribute to the person that will be read by people at the funeral service and in the community. It's a timeless memorial that may even be read by future generations. The funeral home can give you some examples of good obituaries and other resources to help. Here are a few tips to help you create that perfect written memorial.
Do the Research and Make It Accurate
Little mistakes on names and dates on an obituary are embarrassing. Put the time in to make sure all of the information is accurate before giving it to the funeral home.
- Double-check all dates, events and facts.
- Make sure that the names of people, places and businesses are spelled correctly.
- Proofread several times.
- Have someone else do a final proofreading.
- Use the computer's spell checker, or if it is written out, have someone else check the spell, too.
Celebrate the Person's Life, Not Their Death
Traditionally in funeral planning, the obituary is considered the deceased person's "death notice," but it should be focused on the life they lived. This written memorial should bring up the memories you want people to have when they read the obituary.
- Include the person's struggles and accomplishments.
- Emphasize the things for which the person was passionate.
- Note any key events and milestones in the person's life.
- Try to give people a glimpse into what was important to the person.
This will be read by people who didn't know the person at all. With that perspective, write the obituary so they will learn a little about the person and wish that they had met them.
Make It a Way to Say "Thank You" to Friends and Family
The obituary is also a way for the deceased to express gratitude to those people who meant so much to them.
- Mention the people who most influenced the person and how the person was impacted.
- Include a range of influence, both large and small. Mention the friend that financed the person's successful business venture, but also include the great granddaughter who made the person smile with her little poems.
- Let the deceased tell these people "Thanks for all you did for me" through the obituary.
Write for the Future Readers of the Obituary, Too
Everyone attending the service will take home a copy of the obituary. People may also cut them out of the newspaper. The obituary may be read during special occasions in the future as a way to include the person's memory. Your obituary allows people to recall the person and celebrate their life years from now. Contact those at Lawry Brothers Funeral Home for more information and tips.