If you are in the unfortunate situation of having to write an obituary for a loved one we can help ease the stress. An obituary can be very difficult to write for a number of reasons. First, you have lost someone close to you. Having to write a clear and concise obituary while going through the grieving process isn’t easy. Second, most people haven’t read many obituaries let alone written one. Without an obituary template or guide, it can be nearly impossible to write an obituary.
Before you begin, you need to consider where the obituary will be used. If you are writing an obituary for a newspaper, you need to contemplate your budget because most newspapers will charge a base price plus a per-word rate. Depending on your budget you may be very limited in what you can write. If you are going to write an obituary for an online memorial, service folder, or other medium, then you will not have any word limitations.
To begin, you will need to collect the information to include in the obituary. Start by reading one or more sample obituaries. This will show you what is typically included in an obituary. Next, print an obituary template. This will provide you with a list of topics that are included in most obituaries. Start by filling in as much information as you can on your own. Then contact other family members and friends of the deceased to help you fill in the rest of the information.
Now that you have at least a few pages of information, it is time to choose the most relevant data. Read through all of the facts that you collected and choose the most important information for the obituary. You may need to contact friends and family again to clarify some of the info or provide additional data.
Finally, after you have a page or two of clear and concise information it is time to write an obituary for the departed person. Download a fillable obituary template and enter the information you collected into the sections indicated. When you are finished entering the information you will have a well-written obituary ready to be published in a newspaper or online. If you need additional help, view our other articles on obituary writing.
The following is a sample of a properly structured obituary:
JENNIFER JONES, 72
Jennifer “Jenny” Mary Jones, 72, of San Diego, California, passed away on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 in her sleep.
The funeral service will be held at 10:00 am on Friday, May 04, 2012 at Smith Family Funeral Home. Reverend Malcolm Hunter of St. David’s United Church will be officiating. Visitation will be held at 7:00 pm on Thursday, May 03, 2012 at Smith Family Funeral Home. Burial will follow the funeral service at Valley View Cemetery at 2:00 pm. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Smith Family Funeral Home.
Jenny was born in Sacramento, California on January 15, 1940. She graduated from Sacramento Hills Secondary School in 1957 and continued on to receive a degree in education from the University of Northern California.
Jenny was married to Michael Jones on June 20, 1965; they were married for 46 years.
Jenny worked as a teacher for San Diego County Secondary School for 30 years. She enjoyed biking, reading, yoga, gardening and spending time with her friends and family.
Jenny is survived by her husband Michael, her two brothers Matt Jensen and Harold Jensen, her two children, Mike (Allison) Jones and Frank (Jane) Jones, and her loving nieces and nephews.
Jenny is preceded in death by her parents Martin and Mary Jane (Smith) Jones.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be given to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 555, 3439 East 17th Avenue, Washington, DC 00000.
Updated: May 8, 2012