My Wonderful Life

Obituary Writing Tips

posted on 8/2/11 by Staff

As traditions for funerals have changed over the years, so too have the rules for obituary writing. Once a very fact-oriented affair, obituaries have adopted a new tone that includes small snippets of someone’s life – their quirks, their personality, their dreams, and their experiences.

Susan Soper from says,

“The reality is, these days every obit can be a story. The days of the “just the facts, ma’m” have been eclipsed by an almost fervor to pay tribute to a loved one with more personal and colorful items that will keep them alive in memory and spirit.”

This funeral revolution doesn’t stop at planning your last party; it extends to writing your own obituary (or at least some notes for the person who will be). suggests that in the section where you can write letters to loved ones, you also leave behind some ideas for your own obituary.

Here are some obituary writing tips to help you out.


1. Who makes the list?

Let your family know whom you want listed in your obituary. Do you want to include the names of your children’s spouses? Your grandchildren’s names? Do you want your grandchildren’s names to be associated with their parent or can they be grouped together? Would you like any friends listed? Caretakers? Doctors? Pets? Do you even want names to be listed at all?


2. Decide the tone

More and more obituaries paint a picture of the life the deceased led, rather than just listing their achievements. Is there a story you want everyone to remember? Words of wisdom you want read aloud?


3. Share your stories

Any funny/interesting stories you want included? Who are the people in your life who would have good stories to share? What are their e-mails/phone numbers/addresses? Try to put together a list of people who could provide a great 360-degree view of your life stories and experiences.

1 Previous comment:

I had the privilege of writing my father's obituary. I interspersed the personal with the factual and think my Dad would have approved with the outcome.

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