Tips for Writing an Obituary

funeral home in Greenville, MI

Obituaries are a traditional way to let family and friends publicly celebrate the life of the deceased and announce the death in a compassionate manner. No matter if you’re having a non-traditional memorial service or hosting a service in a funeral home in Greenville, MI, you most likely need to write an obituary for the deceased.

To be better prepared to write an obituary for your lost loved one use these tips. For starters, obituaries usually begin with basic information such as the name, age, and place of residence of the deceased. This is followed by the death announcement, including the time and place of death. Most people choose to use a softer word or term than “death,” such as “passed away”, “died”, “went to be with the Lord” etc. Many people are unsure whether or not to list the cause of death in the obituary. At the end of the day, the cause of death is only the family’s business and does not need to be shared unless the immediate family chooses. However, if the death was sudden and unexpected, listing the cause of death in the public obituary might field questions and repetitions at the funeral.

Next, they generally have a biographical sketch. The keyword in this portion is “sketch.” Many people are tempted to write a full account of the deceased’s life. While some people may find that interesting or helpful, the obituary is only meant to detail the most important aspects of his life. Some key pieces to include are the date and place of birth, parent’s names including mother’s maiden name, date, and place of marriage, birth name of spouse, education, work, and military service. Feel free to list events chronologically, or to take a more creative approach. Don’t forget to mention specific important relationships and the effect the deceased had on people’s lives. For example, did he have a great sense of humor? Did he always make time for the kids? Was he an exceptional host, golfer, or singer?

As the saying goes, the funeral is for the living. The same can be said for the obituary, so a key element is listing the surviving family members and loved ones. Take care to not forget anyone, but don’t feel the need to list every single member of the extended family. While tradition varies on this element, most obituaries include funeral information so people can attend if they choose. List the essentials: time, full date and place of service along with the name of the officiate; time, full date, and place of burial or interment if applicable; and finally, time, full date and place of visitation.

Most people choose to include a special thank you or message at the end. This may also include a prayer or poem. You can also choose to include a photo. While this adds to the cost, it is a lovely way to remind people of their connection to the deceased.

If you want to learn more about obituaries or Greenville, MI funeral homes, Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care is here for you. Please visit us at 3627 Linden Ave SE Grand Rapids, MI 49548 United States or give us a call at (616) 452-3006.

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