How To Write An Obituary – Tips and Ideas
Welcome to the Obituary Guide.
This website has tips and ideas for those who need to write an obituary for a friend or family member, or who wish to write their own obituary. The aim is to help you write an obituary that is accurate, lively, and memorable.
Most people are not famous or fortunate enough to receive the attention of a news obituary in the newspaper. That is where this website comes in. You may find yourself needing to write an obituary for someone else. Or you may wish to get a head start on writing your own obituary.
This Guide has obituary writing suggestions and ideas, including: obituary writing tips, a sample obituary template, delicate questions to consider, pitfalls to avoid, writing your own obituary, and other resources.
At a minimum, an obituary is a notice in the newspaper of a death and funeral arrangements. But it can be much more: a record of the extended family – both living and dead, a thank you to those who helped out, a request for memorial donations.
Most importantly, an obituary can be a compelling story of a life.
Starting to write your own obituary could be the spark to begin a fuller memoir.
Writing better obituaries is part of a trend to more fully accept, describe, celebrate, honor, and make the most of life and death.
- For more on accepting, see The Changing Conversations About Mortality as well as Be Prepared: Will, Health Care Directive (Living Will), Obituary, and More.
- For more on describing, see "Memoir Man" a Born Storyteller as well as Six Words To Describe A Life?, and also Having the Last Say: Capturing Your Legacy in One Small Story.
- For more on celebrating, see Helping Families Deal with Death "Most Satisfying Work" for Funeral Celebrant.
- For more on honoring, see How to Write and Give a Eulogy.
- For more on making the most of, see Reflecting on Life and Death along the Camino de Santiago as well as Ways to Leave a Legacy and also Live Well, Do Good.
Your questions, suggestions, and ideas are welcome. Please contact this Guide and share your thoughts to help make this website as useful as possible.
Here is what you will find on this website:
Obituary Writing Tips How to get started when writing an obituary, including how to write an obituary that is accurate, complete, lively, and avoids identity theft.
Obituary Template The basic format and points to take into account when writing an obituary – in a sample checklist / template.
Obituaries – Delicate Questions Here are some delicate questions to consider when writing an obituary.
Obituary Writing Pitfalls How to write an obituary while avoiding pitfalls, such as using clichés.
How to Write Your Own Obituary Thinking of getting a head start on writing your own obituary? Here are some ideas on why it is a good idea, and how to get going.
Write a Life Story Writing a short life story can be an alternative to writing an obituary in advance. When the obituary is needed, all the facts of the life are already at hand.
Write and Give a Eulogy How to write a eulogy and present a eulogy before an audience.
Genealogy and Obituaries How the obituaries of the past can help in today's genealogical and family history research. Better obituary writing today can help tomorrow's findings.
Resources and Links Here are some suggestions of websites, books, and other resources available that are related to obituaries and obituary writing.
News and Reviews News and reviews of books and other resources on obituaries, obituary writing, and associated topics, including Obituaries in American Culture and also Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Stories, as well as “Most Obituaries are Downright Inspirational.”
More From Obituary Guide:
- Writing Your Own Obituary Offers Chance for Reflection
- Ways to Leave a Legacy
- A Family History Writing Workshop
- Helping Families "Most Satisfying Work" for Funeral Celebrant
- Be Prepared: Will, Health Care Directive (Living Will), and More
Books You May Find of Interest:
Not Quite What I Was Planning:
Writing an Obituary Worth Reading:
A Guide to Writing a Fulfilling Life Review
Find the Good:
Unexpected Life lessons From a Small-Town Obituary Writer
Inspiring Stories of Ordinary People Who Led Extraordinary Lives
For All Time:
A Complete Guide to Writing Your Family History
The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
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