There’s a saying, and it goes a little something like this: “There are only two things that you can count on in life: death and taxes.” Even avoiding clichés, this saying carries a certain amount of gravity. It isn’t entirely pleasant to think about, but death really is a part of life. By extension, the obituary is a part of life. And if you have never given it any thought, you should know that there’s quite a bit that goes into writing an obituary. There is quite a bit to consider before you submit your obituary to the local papers. While it’s difficult to think about, you might want to brush up on your writing skills in these regards. If something should ever happen to anyone who you know and love, you’ll be ready to do them the honor of crafting a heartfelt final message.
When you’re crafting a final message, it’s tempting to include a lot of details. As you’re writing it, you’re going to know that many people who you love and care about are going to read it. Thus, you feel compelled to share as much information as possible. You should know, though, that it is not entirely appropriate to share a lot of information in the obituary that you are crafting. Sure, plenty of people are going to read it, and sure, many of those people are going to want more information. Really, though, requests for additional information are best handled personally, and on a person to person basis.
At this point, it’s important to discuss what you should include in your obituary . Of course, you’re going to want to be sure that you announce all of the basics: where your service is going to be held, where donations should be made, and where people should call if they have any questions. If you are planning to hold a memorial service, then you are going to want to include this information as well. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll call this the “first” step of writing your article.
Moving on, you’re going to want to include a survivors section. This does not have to be as grim as it sounds, necessarily. Here, you are going to want to announce the surviving relatives of the deceased, providing readers with a clear sense of whom they can contact if they have any questions. This section, though, does not have to be limited to family. You can include friends, distant relatives, and even pets.
Finally, when you’re crafting an obituary , you’re going to want to be sure to include some personal details about the deceased. Feel free, here, to share some of their interests—some of the things that they were pursuing before their passing. Many of the people who are going to read this have not kept in touch with the deceased. Your message might be the first thing that they’ve heard about him or her in quite some time. Including a few personal touches is not going to hurt.
No matter how you choose to craft this message, there’s one important thing that you have to keep in mind: your message serves as an announcement and little more. Do not attempt to express the gravity of the situation in this message; leave that for the services that are sure to follow.