Losing a family member can be one of life’s most challenging experiences. During this difficult time, it is customary to say goodbye to your family member in the form of an obituary. An obituary is a way to celebrate their life, honor their memory, and inform others about what they meant to you through words. However, knowing where to start and how to write an obituary for a family member can be overwhelming.
At Dietrich-Mothershead Funeral Home, we strive to provide the highest quality of care to families planning a funeral. We understand this is an incredibly hard time for the loved ones of the deceased, and our staff is here to provide support.
Our team has extensive experience in providing funeral planning and support arrangements, always ensuring the highest accuracy possible, so you can rest assured that your family member will be remembered best. In addition to our funeral services, we’ve put together a simple, step-by-step guide on how to write a meaningful obituary for a family member.
Gather Information and Reflect
The first step in writing an obituary for a family member is to gather information about them. This should include basic biographical details such as their nicknames, age, place of birth, residence, and occupation.
Consider including anecdotes, awards, hobbies, or accomplishments they are known for. Also, it may be helpful to contact the deceased’s friends and ask for their input to ensure that the obituary you create reflects your family member’s life meaningfully to everybody they know.
It is important to remember that their obituary is not just a factual account of their life and death but a reflection of them. In the obituary for your family members, try to capture what makes them special and unique, such as their personality, qualities, values, and relationships. Your loved one impacted many people, so it is essential to reflect their memory and legacy in your words.
Structure and Tone for Writing an Obituary
The structure of an obituary starts with a headline that captures the essence of your family member’s life and legacy. Common examples of obituary titles are “In Loving Memory,” “Honoring His/Her Life,” or “In Remembrance.”
Following the title, be sure to include the deceased’s name, following this with details such as their birth and death dates, family members, and achievements. End the obituary with information about arrangements and funeral details, including the date, time, location of the service, and where to make donations. Countless online templates are available for further aid in structuring your obituary.
When writing an obituary for a family member, choosing an appropriate tone that reflects their personality and values is essential. Some examples of tones are celebratory, reflective, and factual.
Your tone should reflect the essence of your family member and capture their life story meaningfully. It is vital to maintain this tone throughout your writing and avoid overly negative or sentimental language, which can upset those reading it.
Writing and Editing the Obituary
Once you have gathered enough information, determined the most relevant details, and chosen the appropriate tone, it’s time to begin writing your family member’s obituary. Following the structure of an obituary as previously discussed, include meaningful anecdotes or stories that capture their spirit and character, a summary of their accomplishments, successes, and hobbies.
Ensure the obituary is engaging by avoiding lengthy sentences and cliches. Consider adding a photo of your family member with the obituary- this can be a great way to add more meaning and emotion to the piece.
Once the obituary is written, ensure accuracy by reviewing and editing it carefully. You can edit it by using online sources like Grammarly or asking family members and friends for feedback.
Incorporate any suggested changes, but ensure the obituary remains true to your original vision. Once you are satisfied with the content and tone of the obituary, you can submit it for publication.
Submitting to Publications
Once you have written and edited the obituary, you can submit it to relevant publications, such as newspapers and websites. Many newspapers provide an online platform for submitting obituaries, such as writing a letter to the editor or posting on their website. Several sites allow you to post your family member’s obituary for free.
To find a relevant publication, you can search online for local and national newspapers in the area and online obituary sites. When submitting the obituary, it is essential to make sure that you follow any relevant guidelines for submission.
Many publications have specific requirements, such as word limits or formatting requirements. Some papers may also require an accompanying photograph or additional information about the deceased. Researching different publications and outlets is also beneficial to find one that best suits your family member’s memory and legacy.
Memorial Services and Condolences
Once the obituary is published, it can inform others about memorial services and offer condolences to the family. The obituary should include details such as the date, time, and location of any services being held. It may also provide a link or contact information for anyone who would like to send flowers or make a donation in memory of the deceased.
When writing the obituary, you may also wish to include an epitaph or tribute to your family member. This brief statement captures their essence and legacy in a few words. You can use quotes, meaningful phrases, or images to express how much they mean to you and reflect on their impact on the world.
Receive Assistance in Writing an Obituary for a Loved One
Writing an obituary for a family member can be a difficult and emotional task. However, it is essential to remember that the obituary should reflect their life story meaningfully. Gather information about your loved one’s life, choose an appropriate tone, use anecdotes and personal details to capture their essence, and follow any guidelines for submitting the obituary. For guidance, view some examples of obituaries in De Soto, MO.
At Dietrich-Mothershead Funeral Home, we understand the importance of creating a lasting memorial for your beloved family member. Our team is here to provide professional support, guidance, and assistance during this difficult time. Contact us at (636) 586-3337 to learn more about our funeral planning services.