There are many things that you need to consider when placing an obituary online, including specific details which must be included in the obituary. Writing an obituary is an emotional and difficult task and it is important to get help from family members and online resources such as this one.
An obituary acknowledges the loss of a loved one and communicates this loss to the community. It also announces the visitation, service, burial and memorial information. Finally, most importantly, the obituary expresses the joy that the person’s presence has brought us.
To help you write a detailed obituary online that can be used for a memorial website, or newspaper, we have written this helpful guide. By following this guide you will be sure that you have included all important information in your loved one’s obituary.
7 Step Guide To Creating An Obituary Online
1. Death Announcement
This is the start of the obituary and gives the basic information of the death. Start the obituary by using a phrase such as “passed away”, “died”, “after a long struggle with…”, “surrounded by their family”, and so on.
- Full name. Include their middle name and a nickname if they had one.
- The age at the time they died.
- The place where they lived when they died.
- The date they died. The time (such as morning, night, etc) is optional.
- Typically you do not include the cause of death in the obituary.
2. Biographical Information
This section expands on the death announcement and includes more details on the person’s life and immediate family.
- Date of Birth (Including the exact day is optional)
- Place of Birth
- Name of the deceased’s parents or guardians. Include the mother’s maiden name.
- Name of spouse if they were married. Write the wife’s maiden name.
- Siblings – brothers, sisters, step-brothers and step-sisters
3. Life History
The obituary is not a complete history of the person’s life. Only include the most significant events in their life. If you create an obituary online or memorial website, this is a good place to write stories and provide more in-depth information. Keep the obituary in the newspaper shorter.
- Marriage – place they were married and wedding date.
- Schools attended (you can also include the year they graduated)
- Education – primary, secondary
- Significant friends they had when at school
- Awards received in their education and life
- Where they worked. You can include significant colleagues and key promotions.
- Any other significant information relevant to their life.
4. Family Information
Think through the family section carefully and be sure to include all family mentions. Start by mentioning living relatives as “survived by,”
- Children – in order of oldest to youngest and their spouses
- Grandchildren – in the order from oldest to youngest
- Great-grandchildren – in order of oldest to youngest manner
- Parents – Step-parents and the living relatives
- Siblings – in order from oldest to youngest
- Others – such as nephews and nieces or cousins
- Pets – if they had special pets.
If there are relatives who have dies already, include the name and date they died.
- Children – in order oldest to youngest
- Siblings – from oldest to youngest.
5. Funeral Service
This information may be provided by the funeral director. If you are to include the details yourself, these are the key points that should be added to the obituary.
- Funeral service day, date, time and place
- Name of officiates and pallbearers
- Visitation times, if you have arranged a visitation for grievers with day, date, time and place
- Wake times – day, date, time and place
- Memorials, if any, with correct day, date and times
- Place of internment
- Name of the Funeral home
- Where to call for more information.
6. Donations and Thank You
Many families will request donations be made to a charity of their choice in lieu of sending flowers. You should also give a brief thank you to any family members or organizations that helped with the funeral service.
- Memorial funds that you might have established
- Memorial donation suggestions with addresses
- Thank to people who helped, groups or clubs
7. Final Words
At the end of the obituary, depending on how much space you have available, you may want to include a meaningful quote or poem. You should also write a sentence to summarize their life.
- Include a significant quote, poem or tale to remember the person
- A few words or sentence to sum up their life
Updated: January 22, 2012