It’s a great honor to be tasked with writing an obituary for a loved one. Although the process can be emotionally taxing, it’s an opportunity to craft a loving homage to the person who has passed on. If you’re in the early stages of preparing a memorial service, including drafting an obituary, here are some tips to help you write a fitting tribute.
How to Write a Thoughtful Obituary
Strive for Accuracy
No matter what tone you’re using for the obituary, make sure every piece of information included is factually accurate. Double-check the spellings of all names you include and make sure you’re not accidentally leaving out any extended family members. Biographical information should be checked with a reliable source (such as another family member) to ensure no errors are made.
Start With an Announcement of Death
Beginning an obituary with the basic announcement of death sets the stage for the biographical information to come, but don’t feel like you need to include any information you’re not comfortable sharing with the readers. The name, age, and place of residence of your loved one is typically enough. Also, feel free to express the death in any way you want, whether it’s something similar to “passed away,” a religious reference, or simply “died.”
Make the Biographical Section Personal & Brief
You undoubtedly have a lot of say about your loved one, but it’s best to keep the biographical section of an obituary short. Try to stick to the highlights of the person’s life such as their birth, marriages, and children. This paints an engaging overview of their life without resorting to a long list of events; you can share longer stories at the memorial service.
But feel free to include smaller details that let their personality shine through as well. Did they have an interesting hobby that was shared with others? Did their sense of humor brighten the lives of their friends? Including these bits of information makes the obituary feel warm and unique.
Use a Recent Photo
While an older photo of your loved one may show them in their youthful prime, it’s not an image that many may recognize. A recent picture will let more readers recognize the person and remember them in the process. If you do want to include an older photo, use a recent image alongside it.
If you’re planning a memorial service for a loved one, the compassionate team at Willow Funeral Home in Willow Springs, MO, is ready to assist. The funeral home has been helping plan loving tributes for more than a century and provides comprehensive services that can accommodate many different types of memorial services. This locally owned and operated business also provides grief support for those struggling with the loss of a loved one. Visit the website for a full list of services or call (417) 469-3141 to speak with a caring representative today.