Losing someone close to you is hard enough to comprehend emotionally. On top of the overwhelming grief you’re probably feeling comes the stress of all the tasks that need to be taken care of: Planning the services and making arrangements, ordering flowers, determining what will happen with their belongings, and the list goes on. We understand that it can be extremely stressful and we’re here to guide you every step of the way. One of the first things you’ll need to take care of is the obituary. With so many thoughts racing through your head at a mile per minute, it can seem impossible to come up with just the right words that properly encompass and honor their life. There are a few key elements that most obituaries include. Below is a list of a few things that you should include in the obituary.
An obituary typically begins with a statement of notifying people how your loved one passed. You’ll want to think about the language you’re comfortable using, and if you’re going to publicly share the cause of death. Statements such as “passed away,” “left us” “departed this life” “went home to be with the lord” and “went to be at rest,” are all common phrases to use. Whether or not you want to share that it was after a battle with illness, suddenly from an accident, or peacefully at home, is completely up to your discretion. You’ll want to talk with your family to ensure you’re all on the same page.
This will be the main portion of the obituary, where you can get personal and share the important details of your loved one’s life. Think about what was important to them, and what words come to mind when you think of them. Typically, people will include what they did for work, any hobbies, interests, life events, or meaningful qualities. This is where you can get personal and really highlight how special of a person they were and the lasting impact they left.
It’s important to mention the surviving family members of the deceased so that people are able to make the connection when they read the obituary and offer their condolences. Depending on the size of the family, most people mention any children, parents, spouses, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings. Depending on the relationships, some will also include aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, or cousins.
Next, you’ll want to share important details about the services for family and friends. Be sure to include the date and time of the visitation hours and funeral service.
Some people choose to end the obituary with some sort of final special message. If they were religious, this would be a good place to offer a prayer or bible verse. It could also be a meaningful quote or thank you to someone. This would also be a good time to mention “In lieu of flowers,” and offer an alternative for donations to a special charity or other requests.