A Guide to Writing Obituaries for Loved Ones

Posted on September 30, 2020 by AmericanHeritage under Education
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A Guide to Writing Obituaries for Loved OnesWriting obituaries for your loved ones is an act of love, but also something that requires a lot of care and thought. Besides acknowledging and celebrating the life your loved one has lived, obituaries also serve to inform the community of the death and enlist their help and support in the days to come.

While we want to detail the significant achievements and attributes of our loved ones, it is important to craft an obituary that contains all the vital information about funeral services and times. In this article, we list out all the elements that will need to go in your loved one’s obituary.


Announcement of Death

The most basic pieces of information to include are name, age, place of residence as well as time and place of death. The announcement can be phrased in many different ways, with popular options being “went home to be with the Lord” “departed from this world” and “passed away”. It is not necessary to share the cause of death unless your family deems it appropriate. However, do note that listing it can save you a lot of questions, especially if your loved one’s death was sudden.

A Short Biography

The key is to keep it short and simple when recounting significant events, achievements and attributes of your loved one’s life. Important details to include are:

  • Date and place of birth
  • Names of both parents
  • Name of spouse; date and place of marriage
  • Educational and/or work achievements

Do keep in mind that an obituary is not a legal document, so if there’s a need to list a step-parent as omit a divorce, feel free to do so. If your loved one has many significant contributions, try to summarize them by only choosing the most important ones.

Listing Immediate Family Members, or Survivors

This is a section to handle with care as leaving out someone’s name amidst the grief can cause further heartache. Start with the closest relations in order of: spouse, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, parents and siblings. Indicate if any of these relations has preceded your loved one in death. If your loved one is not married or does not have any descendants, move on to nieces, nephews, and cousins. If there are a lot of relations, ie., grandchildren, they are usually numbered instead of named individually.

Service Times

Details to include are as follows:

  • Date, time and venue of 1) service, 2) burial/interment and 3) visitations
  • Name of the officiant

Special Messages

Lastly, if your loved one has left behind a wish for donations to be made in their name to a certain beneficiary, include this in the obituary. Or if a line from a poem or prayer meant something between you and your loved one or you simply find it beautiful, make it the closing line.

A Well-Crafted Obituary to Honor Your Loved One

At American Heritage Cemetery Funeral Home Crematory, we believe that a funeral service is about celebrating life and sharing memories so that you can start healing. Our services include an online obituary website, where friends and family can leave a message on a dedicated page to your loved one’s life.

If you need help writing and publishing an obituary for your loved one, contact us through our online form today. We walk you through the entire process to ensure the most stress-free experience so you can focus entirely on your loved one.