How to Write a Meaningful Obituary

Writing an obituary for a family member or friend can be an overwhelming task. If you have been given this responsibility, it may be difficult to know how to properly honor the deceased in a meaningful way. 

An obituary is typically published online or in a local paper, including information such as the deceased’s name, living family members, and funeral details. The first step in creating a fitting obituary is understanding the tone of the piece. Depending on the person, an obituary can be straight forward, solemn, or even humorous. While there is nothing wrong with a traditional approach, a great obituary should ultimately reflect the life of the deceased. 

At Baldwin Brothers Funeral & Cremation Society in Ocala, Fort Myers and at our other Central Florida locations, we make funeral planning easy. With our expert advice and convenient funeral home locations across Florida, you can complete your funeral planning online. The following guidelines will show you how to write an obituary that will leave lasting memories of the individual who has passed away. 

Gathering the Details 

If you are writing the obituary, you likely already know a range of information about your loved one, such as their date of birth and the relatives they left behind. You may also want to talk to other family members or close friends to include any special facts you may not know. Their favorite hobby, any achievements they have accomplished, or charities they may have volunteered with. While an obituary is not the same as a biography, emphasizing these personal details will make the piece feel memorable. 

Incorporate the Family 

Family members and next of kin are an essential part of writing an obituary. Remember to confirm this information before finalizing the document so no one is accidentally left out. You can use terms such as “loving mother of” or “beloved daughter of” to emphasize the names of the family. For someone who was not married or did not have children, you can discuss their parents, siblings, or any nieces and nephews, if applicable. If they have left behind an especially important person in their life, it may be appropriate to mention them as well. 

Service Information and Photo

Traditionally, an obituary announces the funeral services of the person who passed. Include the date, time, and location of the funeral as well as any other service that may be held. If you are holding a private service, you may mention that instead. It is also common to mention where to send gifts and flowers, or if the deceased has a favorite charity where those who knew them may donate. Once the information is confirmed, you should choose a photograph of the person to be shared with the obituary. 

As a final part of the obituary, you can choose a meaningful quote, phrase, saying, or line of a song or poem as appropriate. Usually, this is chosen by the next of kin or a spouse. Consider reading the entire obituary carefully before publishing with a newspaper in print or online. Once it is handed over to the editor, you may not be able to make any changes. 

If you would like information about obituaries, cremation, or planning the funeral of a loved one, reach out to Baldwin Brothers Funeral & Cremation Society in Orlando, Ocala, Ormond Beach, or the Fort Myers area in Florida.