Creating an Honorary Tribute: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing the Perfect Obituary

Posted on: 25 September 2023


Crafting an obituary is a task that requires both sensitivity and precision. It's about creating a meaningful tribute to a loved one's life, encapsulating their essence while providing necessary information. The following article offers a step-by-step guide to creating an obituary that truly honors the departed.

1. Understanding the Purpose of an Obituary

An obituary serves multiple functions. It serves as a formal announcement of someone's passing, conveying important information about funeral or memorial services. An obituary goes beyond that, though, serving as a heartfelt tribute and an encapsulation of a person's life. It carefully outlines their significant achievements, cherished relationships, and admirable personal attributes, painting a vivid portrait of their legacy that can be cherished and remembered by all.

2. Gathering Essential Information

Before starting, collect all the necessary information. This includes the individual's full name, age, place, and date of birth and death. Details about surviving family members, career accomplishments, hobbies, and interests are also important.

3. Structuring the Obituary

Typically, an obituary follows a specific structure. It begins with the announcement of death, followed by biographical information, family details, service information, and finally, special messages or acknowledgments.

4. Announcing the Death

Start by announcing the person's full name, age, place of residence, and date of death. Remember to use a respectful and sensitive tone.

5. Sharing Biographical Information

Next, chronicle the person's life. Include birth details, education, career, marriage, and significant life events. Highlight unique traits, passions, or accomplishments that made the person special.

6. Detailing Family Connections

List the family members, both surviving and predeceased. Typically, immediate family members are mentioned first, followed by extended family. It's crucial to get permission from all individuals before including them.

7. Providing Service Information

Include details about the funeral, burial, wake, or memorial services. Location, date, and time are essential. If it's a private service, mention this explicitly.

8. Adding Special Messages or Acknowledgments

End the obituary with special messages, thank you notes, or charity donation requests. It's also a space to share a favorite quote or a brief sentiment that encapsulates the person's spirit.

9. Reviewing and Proofreading

Once the draft is ready, review it for accuracy. Check all names, dates, and details. Proofread for grammatical errors and ensure the tone remains consistent and respectful throughout.

10. Publishing the Obituary

The final step is to publish the obituary. It can be posted in local newspapers, online platforms, or both. Understand the cost implications and deadlines before choosing a platform.

Crafting an obituary to commemorate the life and legacy of a loved one is a sensitive endeavor that necessitates striking a delicate balance between factual precision and heartfelt homage. It requires skillfully chosen words, a well-structured narrative, and an eloquent expression of admiration while remaining true to the essence of their being. By following these steps and maintaining a sensitive and respectful tone, you can craft an obituary that truly pays homage to their memory.

For more information, contact an obituary service in your area.