When we’re tasked with writing an obituary for a loved one, it’s usually during a troubling time when we’re still dealing with the grief from their loss and mourning their absence. Considering this is an uncommon exercise, it can sometimes be overwhelming when trying to figure out what to write and what should be included in a loved one’s obituary.
Remember that an obituary helps acknowledge the loss of a loved one, expresses the sorrow felt by family and friends, and it shares a glimpse into the joy that their lives brought to everyone.
What’s Usually Necessary in an Obituary?
When writing an obituary, try to do so in a completely calm manner, with time to think clearly. It’s also important to try to stick to the normal conventions, so that readers can find the information they need quickly. Here are some items most obituaries have.
Most obituaries published in the United States should include:
- The full name of the deceased
- Their date of birth
- The age upon their death
- City and state of residence
- The name of their spouse, including whether they are survived by them or whether they are also deceased
- Location and time of the funeral, memorial service, viewing or wake
If you are unsure when the funeral will be at the time you write the obituary, you should direct people to contact the funeral home for locations and times.
What Might Be Optional for All Obituaries?
If you have enough room in the obituary, here are several things to consider adding that can give more details into your loved one’s life.
- Date of marriage
- Names of their parents
- Names of their children and grandchildren
- City and state of where your loved one was born
- Other cities and states they lived in
- Schools attended, along with any degrees they might have earned
- Military service
- Places of employment
- Names of other family members (siblings, aunts and uncles)
- Activities and clubs they were members of, like churches and other organizations
- Names of their pets
- Notes about their personality and possibly an anecdote
It’s unlikely you’ll have all the information available when you write the obituary initially, so give yourself plenty of time to make phone calls to get answers, correct spellings of names and other details.
Do you need help with a funeral in the South Florida area? Call the The Gardens of Boca Raton Cemetery & Funeral Services at (561) 989-9190 and they can help you with writing and posting an obituary. Call them or visit their offices in Boca Raton on North Military Trail, west of I-95.