Different Ways To Personalize An Obituary

By: Ian Elliott
Thursday, February 25, 2016

When it comes to writing an obituary, most people are too distracted by other responsibilities to focus on writing something that is both good and respectful to the deceased and their family.  Most people write a simple statement of the facts of the birth, death and funeral arrangements, rather than an in­depth overview of the deceased’s life and accomplishments.

Picking a picture

When you are posting the obituary, you may wish to include a picture of the deceased.  If you have chosen this option, pick a favourite picture of the deceased at their best.  For example, if they were a fan of a particular team, try to find an appropriate picture to reflect that.  Once you’ve selected your picture, be sure to include a reference to it in the text of the obituary.

Writing the obituary

When it comes time to put pen to paper, besides including “born, died, & survived by” format.  Try to include something that the deceased loved, like a particular hobby or skill they had.   To offer an example, when writing the obituary say something like “Bill’s yard and garden were meticulously maintained. Whenever you visited with Bill you were sure to find him in the yard.”  “He was always there for his family, helping where he could, taking his grandchildren to the play ground on weekends.” By driving home his incredible love of his family, gardening and caring for his lawn, the writer reminds the mourners of the good times with Bill, and possibly alleviates the grief, even if it’s only for a moment.

Collect stories

People are strange creatures.  We rarely, if ever, show our complete selves to those around us.  Everyone sees us differently.  By asking around the family and close friends, you can find different stories about the deceased, stories you may not have known.  Perhaps they helped their grandchild learn how to ride a bike, or made amazing waffles every Saturday morning.  As the one writing the obituary, you should ask around for good stories or facts about the deceased that you could use or share with other mourners.  By sharing happy memories, you can help relieve the grief, and offer comfort.  When you’re gathering information from other family members and friends, be sure you ask their permission before using any of the information they provide in the obituary.  Not everyone wants their personal stories shared on a public stage, especially when they are mourning.

Don’t put something into the obituary that would upset the decedent if they were living or surviving family members.

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

How To Support A Grieving Friend

It can be very painful to look at a friend in grief. Your heart goes out to them and you genuinely want to offer help. They too may be yearning for support to face the difficult time but may not be...

Life Choices To Put On Hold If You're Grieving

When you’re grieving the demise of a loved family member, it’s never a good idea to make any major life choices. Death can take a very severe physical and emotional toll on the survivors, which mea...

What to Do When a Loved One as near the End of Their Life

It can be an extremely profound experience to be with someone you love when they are nearing the end of their life. While you need to be there to give the person company and solace, the anticipatio...

Coping with Memories of Grief and Loss During the Holidays

Festivities, decorations, and good cheer mark the holidays and Christmas time in particular. While everyone is celebrating and partaking in great food and conversation, if you have recently lost a ...

Importance of Personalizing a Funeral or Memorial Service

Can death be a celebration of life rather than only mourning and grieving? Can we center the funeral and memorial services on the departed loved one, rather than our emotions overshadowing everythi...

What is Actually Involved in Pre-planning Your Funeral?

If you accept that death is a certainty, then pre-planning the funeral arrangement can be treated as a project for yourself, on which you want to put a stamp of completion. Perhaps the thought behi...

Choosing a Casket

One of the most important aspects in a funeral arrangement is the choice of a casket. A large part of the budget is determined by the cost of the casket. The price range is very wide from...

Etiquette for Social Media Condolences

When the death of someone you know happens, it can be extremely difficult to know how to act towards those who are grieving. When it comes to social media etiquette, it’s important to say your peac...

Ideas for Memorializing Your Loved One After The Service

When someone close to you passes away, it is natural for you to feel the need to keep items that belonged to them. This is one way of honoring their memory. Many families choose videos, paintings o...

Coping With An Unexpected Death

Most people aren’t good at dealing with unexpected occurrences and events such as death. In case a loved one passes away unexpectedly, that can bring on a wave of grief, sorrow, and disbelief. Fami...