Writing a death notice can be one of the most painful and difficult things to do. You are writing an announcement proclaiming the death of someone you know, or someone you love. It is a form of painful acceptance that most people have to experience. Especially since writing a death notice needs a personal touch and a lot of information about the dead that only his or her family would know about.
You could be writing your own death notice, in advance, or writing the death notice of someone dear to you, either way, you should know how to properly write one. In other terms, a death notice is also called an ‘Obituary’ and it is usually published in a newspaper of your choice. It is not that hard to draft one, but sometimes finding the right words is hard in grief. Below are some pointers on writing a simple and correct obituary, in case you would need it or want to draft your own:
The first thing that you should probably know is what is an obituary. This is usually what most people look at when reading the newspaper. This would detail the life of the deceased in chronological order and is somewhat considered as saying goodbye. It also serves as a notice to everyone that this person has passed away. An obituary is also where the time and places of the funeral services would take place to let people know if they want to visit or pay respects to the deceased.
Obituaries are often saved by people, especially those who are close to the deceased so it is always good to keep in mind that an obituary should be worth keeping and is worthy of your loved one’s memory.
a. Announcement – This is where you can find the deceased’s full name, their date of birth and the date of death. You can also place a picture of the deceased and it could be in color or the standard black and white.
b. Biographical – You do not have to put everything about the deceased on this part. Only the significant events or highlights of his or her life. For example, the schools he or she had attended, degrees he or she may have attained and even their advocacies and interests.
c. Survivors– It is a custom to include the survivors or family members of the deceased. Even those immediate family members who have predeceased him or her. They should be listed by name. If there are too many, then it is alright to reference them in terms of their relationship to the deceased.
d. Scheduled services – In here, you should out details of the services that would be held in honor of the deceased. Include the time, date and address. These may include the visitation time, the funeral, memorial or even the burial. This would be good for people who want to be visited by more than just a close-knit of family members, friends and loved ones. As placing schedules on the newspaper would somehow be like an announcement to all, and there could be people who would attend the services whom the family does not know but has been affected or he or she had known the deceased.
e. Memorials – This is where you ask for memorial donations. You may put the address of a foundation or society to which the deceased had been a part of or is based upon their interests and values. You can even request that the ones who want to donate could donate to the charity of foundation that is important to the deceased in lieu of funeral flowers. Whether created by them or by florists.
f. Final Considerations – You should ask for help from other family members. This is not only to help verify the information but perhaps to add some that you have not placed yet. Help them confirm dates and spelling of names. Even how you should design or word the text in the obituary can help honor the one who passed away.
III. Writing an Obituary
Writing an obituary is actually easy, contrary to popular belief. This is because you are not expected to put what you do not know. This is also why it is more preferred that a family member or a loved one would do or write the obituary. Of course, you can ask for help from the funeral service director if you are unsure of your obituary.
You can also ask your close friend or loved one to help you with your own obituary. You can plan your funeral in advance and put what you want or prefer on the obituary before it is published when you pass away. You should keep the text simple, as most newspapers would have you pay them per page, so be mindful of the length of the obituary if you do not want to have unnecessary expenses. Of course, writing your own obituary is not really preferred but if you are someone who wants to plan then there is nothing wrong with that.
One of the benefits of writing an obituary, or letting someone else write your obituary, is that you would have a personal touch to remember and honor the one who has passed away. This is sometimes therapeutic for those who are left behind, and it is also a time when they sit and think about how or what would honor you by writing your obituary.