After the death of a loved one occurs, someone would need to notify the deceased’s friends, colleagues, and family of their passing and the details of the funeral. Death notices and obituaries have been the primary source of this sad news. This would not be an easy task, especially if you and the deceased had a solid and close relationship.

Family members used to publish death notices and obituaries in a newspaper in the local area where the deceased lived, but posting death notices online is becoming more popular these days.

Whether you have been asked to write someone’s obituary and death notice or consider writing your own, you would need a guide on preparing and writing obituary and death notices. This is why we created this article to help you go through this.

Death Notices vs. Obituaries

Some people might think that death notices and obituaries are the same, but there is actually a difference between them.

Obituaries are composed of a detailed biography of the deceased. Back in the day, newspaper staff was responsible for writing about important public figures in the community.

On the other hand, death notices are announcements in newspapers that contain the name of the deceased and details of his memorial or funeral service.

These days, the deceased’s family members can pay for a space in the newspaper to publish the death notice. 

Writing a Good Obituary

The first thing you would need to do is to gather information for the obituary. If you are writing one for yourself, it would be easy because all you need to do is take a memory lane trip. But if you are going to write one for someone else, you would need to get important details to outline another person’s life.

When someone passes away, it is essential to gather as many personal details as necessary. This can make your task a lot easier. You could check the deceased online profile and other social media accounts. Do not forget to talk to the deceased’s family members, colleagues, or friends to find more information. 

It may seem like it is a painful task, but it’s better to have as much information as you can gather to help you write a good obituary.

Writing an obituary for the first time is hard. If you are still having a hard time writing an obituary, you could check the web for examples and obituary templates that you can use as a guide.

Things to Include in Obituaries and Death Notices

If you are planning to print the obituary to the local newspaper, you might want to check with them if they have some restrictions or guidelines for obituaries. There are some newspapers that have a template that they want to use. Always remember that newspaper charge per line and column inch. You need to be aware of these things before you start.

Here is some information that you could include in a newspaper obituary:

  • Place and date of birth
  • Name of the parents
  • Name of spouse, children, relatives, or friends
  • Schools attended
  • Career achievements (former position at work and other notable achievements)
  • Accomplishments or other hobbies
  • Religious affiliation
  • Military service
  • Interests
  • Clubs
  • Humanitarian work
  • Special memory with the deceased
  • Deceased character
  • A brief summary of the deceased’s life
  • Funeral service information

How to Write a Beautiful Obituary

You could try and write two to three drafts to try different writing styles and ask a family member of the deceased to review it. You would probably get feedback or suggestions from the people who know the dead best. 

But whichever theme or writing style you chose, make sure that it is heartfelt because although obituaries are sad, they could still bring comfort to the grieving family or friends.

After you finish writing the final draft of the obituary or death notice, you should have someone proofread it for you. This process is crucial because you need to make sure that the family member’s names’ spelling is correct. You wouldn’t like to publish a death notice or an obituary with spelling mistakes that could offend someone who is already going through a hard time.