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How To Write An Obituary

Guide to Writing a Meaningful Obituary

An obituary is a solemn and heartfelt tribute to a person's life, providing a summary of their accomplishments, character, and the impact they had on those around them. Writing an obituary can be a challenging task, as it requires capturing the essence of a person's life within a limited space. However, with careful thought and consideration, you can create a meaningful and touching tribute that honors the memory of your loved one. 

Steps to Writing an Obituary

1. Gather the Essential Information

Begin by collecting the necessary details for the obituary. These typically include the full name of the deceased, date of birth, date of passing, and the cause of death (if desired). You should also gather information about their immediate surviving family members – spouse, children, parents, and siblings – as well as the date, time, and location of the funeral or memorial service.

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2. Reflect on Their Life

Take some time to reflect on the life of the person you are writing the obituary for. Consider their passions, achievements, and the moments that defined their existence. Think about their personality traits, hobbies, and the impact they had on their family, friends, and community. Jot down some key points that you want to include in the obituary to help organize your thoughts.

3. Craft the Opening

The first sentence of the obituary should convey the individual's name, age, and date of passing. It sets the tone for the rest of the tribute. Consider using phrases like "passed away peacefully," "left us too soon," or "surrounded by loved ones" to provide context to the reader.

4. Share the Life Story

Compose a paragraph or two that provides a brief overview of the person's life story. Include important milestones, such as birthplace, education, career, and significant life events. Emphasize their passions, values, and the qualities that made them unique

5. Highlight Achievements and Impact

This section should focus on the deceased's accomplishments, contributions, and the positive impact they had on others. Mention any awards, honors, or recognition they received during their life. Discuss their involvement in the community, charitable work, or any significant projects they were part of.
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6. Celebrate Personal Traits and Passions

Capture the essence of the person by describing their personality traits, interests, and hobbies. Share anecdotes or stories that illustrate their character and what made them special to those who knew them best.

7. Acknowledge Family and Relationships

Take a moment to mention the surviving family members and their relationship to the deceased. Offer words of comfort and support to those who are mourning the loss of their loved one.

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8. Provide Funeral/Memorial Details

Include the date, time, and location of the funeral or memorial service. You may also mention any requests from the family, such as charitable donations in lieu of flowers.

9. Review and Edit

Once you have written the obituary, review it carefully for accuracy and clarity. Check for any typos or grammatical errors. Share the draft with other family members or close friends to get their feedback and ensure that all important details are included.

10. Respect the Deceased's Wishes

If the person who passed away left specific instructions for their obituary or had expressed certain preferences, make sure to honor their wishes as much as possible.


Writing an obituary is a way to pay tribute to the life and legacy of a loved one. It serves as a lasting memorial and provides comfort to those who are mourning. By gathering essential information, reflecting on the person's life, and crafting a heartfelt narrative, you can create an obituary that truly celebrates their unique journey through life. Remember, the goal is to capture the essence of the person, evoke fond memories, and offer comfort during a difficult time.

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