Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How to Write an Obituary

Obituary is a death notice that usually includes the attempt made by an author, publication, or any news organization to give a description of the life of someone, who has recently died. It can be a simple death notice which is also known as funeral notice or it can be a paid for advertisement, which is written by the family, and is placed in the newspaper by the funeral home or the family members. There are many newspaper organizations having a pre-written obituary for individuals who are alive, and it appears immediately after their death.

In the US and UK obituaries are a notable feature in the local newspapers. The newspaper, ‘The Economist’ publishes a full-page obituary every week; the obituary reflects the persons influence, life and on world history. The British Medical Journal allows the doctors to write their own obituaries for publication and it is published after their death. The publishers like Pan Books have a series called the ‘Daily Telegraph Book of Obituaries’, which consists of all the obituaries like obituary of sports persons, military persons, entertainers, heroes and many more.

Writing an obituary is not difficult. Here are some simple steps on how to write an obituary.


Before you start writing, check the newspaper to see if there is any restriction of length. Give the full name of the deceased person; you can also mention a nickname. Mention their age and the time of death. You should also write the reason of their death.
Write all the important events of that person’s life; start with his/her birthplace. You should also mention things like childhood description, siblings, school friends and some interesting stories. Write the name of their college and the degrees earned by them. If the deceased person is married, write the name of his/her spouse, date of their wedding. Write about a few achievements, their hobbies, memorable stories and some unique things about that person.
Make sure that you do now forget to acknowledge the survivors, including, children, parents and spouse.
Mention the details of the funeral like the date, time and place of the funeral service.
Conclude the obituary by thanking people or groups. You can add a poem or a quotation and add a few words to describe the life of the deceased person.
Make sure that you time the obituary properly, so that it appears a few days prior to the memorial service.  
How to Write an Infant’s Obituary


Check the local newspapers’ requirements for obituaries. Enquire in the newspaper office when they need the obituary to publish it on the appropriate day.
Ask the parents of the baby what information they want to put in the obituary. Ask them if they want a picture of baby in the obituary. Before giving the obituary for publishing, confirm the spelling of the baby’s name. Get all the required details for the obituary. Ask the parents if they want the memorial donations to go for a charity.
Start the obituary with writing the baby’s name and the name of the city where the child died. Following this should be the birth date and the date of death, for an infant it can be stated as, “the child departed on the date.” If the baby had died due to some illness, you can write, “after a prolonged illness.”
List the members of the infant’s family, start with parents, then you can add the names of the rest of the family members; write in the order of their closeness with infant like siblings, aunts, grandparents and so on.
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