Creating an obituary is a profound way to memorialise a loved one, bridging personal remembrance and public acknowledgement of one’s life and passing.

From understanding the fundamental purpose of an obituary to navigating through the intricacies of composing one, our comprehensive tutorial aims to simplify the process.

This guide on how to make an obituary is meticulously crafted to assist you through the emotional journey of honouring your loved one. We provide a step-by-step approach enriched with specific examples and customisable templates, catering to traditional and non-conventional preferences.

What Is An Obituary And Its Purpose?

An obituary, often shortened to obit, serves as a formal announcement of someone’s passing. It is a compassionate way to inform the wider community about losing a loved one, including friends, family members, and acquaintances.

It provides beneficial details regarding the funeral or memorial service, allowing those who knew the deceased to offer condolences and support to the surviving family members.

Typically published in newspapers or online, obituaries play a role in the grieving process, offering a space for collective remembrance and starting the journey towards healing.

Through these written tributes, immediate family members share the story of the deceased’s life, ensuring their memory is preserved for future generations.

 

6 Steps On How To Write An Obituary For Funeral Or Memorial Service

Writing an obituary for a funeral or memorial service is a thoughtful way to honour a departed family member. It provides a chance for surviving family members to reflect on and celebrate the life of their loved ones while sharing important details about the upcoming funeral service or memorial service.

The process can seem daunting at first, but following a few steps can create a heartfelt tribute that serves as a lasting memory.

1. Announce The Death Of Your Loved One

Announcing the death of a loved one in an obituary should be handled with sensitivity and respect. Start with basic but important information such as:

  • Full name
  • Age
  • Place of birth
  • Date of death
  • Place of death of the deceased

The cause of death can also be included at the discretion of the family. It’s not mandatory to share this detail, especially if it’s a private matter.

Following this, detail the funeral service or memorial service arrangements, including date, time, location, and any specific details about the nature of the service to help guests prepare accordingly.

2. Include Your Loved One’s Life In The Biographical Section

The biographical section of an obituary is a tribute to your loved one’s life story. It’s important to capture the person’s essence by highlighting their birth date, significant life achievements, hobbies, and contributions to the community.

Keep in mind the word limit if the obituary is to be published in a newspaper, as costs may vary. This section is an opportunity to celebrate the uniqueness of the deceased, sharing details that paint a vivid picture of their character, passions, and legacy.

3. List Down The Surviving Family Members And Close Friends

In writing an obituary, it’s crucial to thoughtfully list the surviving family members, close friends, and immediate family members who have passed before the deceased.

This inclusion formally acknowledges those closest to the departed, highlighting personal connections that shaped the person’s life.

It’s a gesture of respect, recognising the family’s structure and the deceased’s significant relationships.

4. Add A Special Message Or Poem

Incorporating a special message, short prayer, or funeral poem at the end of an obituary offers a deeply personal touch that can reflect the loved one’s beliefs, values, or personality. This gesture can be comforting to honour someone’s life, providing solace to family and friends alike.

Whether it’s a favourite Bible verse that the deceased held dear, a piece of poetry that encapsulates their spirit, or a custom-written obituary that captures the essence of their journey, these special messages are a final tribute to the person’s life.

Encouraging personal expression through these means adds depth to written obituaries, making them more meaningful for those who read them. When selecting or writing this part of the obituary, consider what best represents the deceased, ensuring it aligns with the family’s wishes and memorial details.

5. Include An Obituary Photo

Choosing the right photo for an obituary is important in commemorating your loved one. It should ideally be a clear headshot that presents the deceased in a manner they would have approved of. This photograph personalised the obituary and helps readers visually connect with the person’s life and memories.

When selecting an image, consider the quality and setting to ensure it reflects the essence of the deceased’s personality and life. A photo that displays your loved one in their best light adds a touching and personal element to the obituary, making it more memorable for those touched deeply by the person’s life.

Acknowledging those who cared for your loved one, such as hospice staff, through donations can also be mentioned, offering a way to honour the deceased’s life and the care they received.

6. Add Details About The Funeral Or Memorial Service

Incorporating the details of the funeral or memorial service into an obituary adds value in informing family, friends, and acquaintances about how they can pay their respects. Ensure you list the service’s date, time, location, and any relevant details about the wake or memorial service.

Providing this valuable information concisely helps attendees to prepare and understand what is expected, such as any specific dress codes or requests from the family. For example, if the family prefers charitable donations instead of flowers, make this clear in the obituary.

This section serves as an invitation to honour the deceased’s life and allows the community to offer condolences and support to the family during this time. By sharing these key details, you ensure the upcoming service is accessible and open to all who wish to commemorate the loved one’s life.

 

What Should You Not Include In An Obituary?

When writing an obituary, it’s important to strike a balance between celebrating the deceased’s life and maintaining the family’s privacy and dignity.

Here are things to avoid including in an obituary, ensuring it respects the deceased’s memory while being mindful of the information shared publicly:

Exact Date Of Birth And Address

To protect against identity theft and respect privacy, avoid listing the deceased’s full date of birth or their home address. Instead, consider sharing their age and a general location of residence.

Cause Of Death (If Sensitive Or Private)

While some families choose to share the cause of death to bring awareness to certain issues, it’s important to consider the feelings of close family members and the deceased’s wishes. If in doubt, it’s more respectful to omit this detail.

Financial Information Or Valuables

Mentioning details about the deceased’s financial status, inheritance matters, or valuable possessions can attract unwelcome attention and should be avoided to safeguard the family’s privacy.

Negative Details Or Family Disputes

An obituary is a tribute to someone’s life, not a place to air grievances or disclose family conflicts. Focus on the positive aspects of their life and the love shared within the family.

 

Obituary Examples

Writing an obituary during a time of loss can be challenging. We’ve prepared a collection of obituary examples tailored for funeral or memorial services to assist with this.

These resources are designed to simplify the task, providing a structure that can be personalised to reflect the unique life of your loved one.

Obituary Example For A Mother

Mrs. Jasmine Tan Siew Lin, 74
It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Jasmine Tan Siew Lin, aged 74, who left us peacefully on 15th March 2024 in Singapore after a brief illness. Born on 2nd February 1950, Jasmine was a beacon of love and nurturing to all who knew her.

Survived By
Jasmine’s warmth and wisdom will be forever cherished by her loving husband, Albert Tan; her children, Michelle, John, and Sarah; and her adored grandchildren, to whom she was a beloved Ah Ma. She was a pillar of strength and love for her family, leaving a legacy of kindness and resilience.

Service Details
The family will hold a funeral service at Casket Fairprice parlour on 18th March 2024 at 10:00 AM. Following the service, a burial will occur at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery. Friends and family are invited to join in celebrating Jasmine’s extraordinary life.

In expressing gratitude towards Casket Fairprice for their empathetic support, the family prefers donations to the Singapore Heart Foundation, honouring Jasmine’s generosity.

Jasmine’s life was a beautiful demonstration of unconditional love and nurturing. She will be profoundly missed but fondly remembered for the joy she spread.

Obituary Example For A Father

Mr. Lee Seng Mun 80
We mourn the loss of Lee Seng Mun, who sadly passed away at the age of 80 after a long battle with illness, on 20th March 2024 in Singapore. Born on 5th May 1944, Seng Mun was a man of immense strength, wisdom, and guidance.

Survived By
His legacy will live on through his wife, Helen Lee, and his three sons, Michael, David and Peter, who saw in him a guiding light. Seng Mun was a respected local community member, providing unwavering support and leadership to all who were fortunate to know him.

Service Details
A memorial service will honour his life at the Singapore Funeral Parlour at Tampines, arranged by Casket Fairprice, on 23rd March 2024, at 3:00 PM. The family invites all who knew Seng Mun to come together in remembrance.

The Lee family extends their heartfelt thanks to Casket Fairprice for their professional and caring arrangements. They request that in memory of Seng Mun,donations be made to the Singapore Cancer Society, reflecting his courage in facing life’s challenges.

Seng Mun’s impact on his family and community was profound. His guidance, strength, and influence will be sorely missed but never forgotten.

Obituary Example For A Brother

Mr. Ethan Poh Wei Jie, 39
We announce with great sorrow the passing of Ethan Poh Wei Jie, beloved brother, uncle, and friend, who left us unexpectedly on 22nd March 2024 in Singapore. Born on 3rd June 1985, Ethan’s life was a testament to the strength of brotherly love and the joy of shared experiences.

Survived By
Ethan’s spirited laugh and wise counsel will be dearly missed by his siblings, Nicole and Darren Tan, along with his loving parents and his nieces and nephews, whom he adored. His presence brought light and warmth to every family gathering.

Service Details
A service to celebrate Ethan’s life will be conducted on 25th March 2024, at 3:00 PM, at Teochew Parlours at Ubi. The Tan family invites those who knew Ethan to join in remembering a life so beautifully lived but too soon ended.

In gratitude for their support, the family acknowledges Casket Fairprice. In Ethan’s memory, they request donations to the Singapore Mental Health Association, reflecting his concern for the well-being of others.

Ethan’s legacy is one of unconditional love and laughter, a reminder of the preciousness of life and the enduring bonds of family.

Obituary Example For A Sister

Ms. Chloe Wong Mei Lin, 45
With profound sadness, we share the loss of Chloe Wong Mei Lin, a sister, daughter, and cherished friend, who passed away peacefully on 19th March 2024 in Singapore. Born on 12th December 1979, Chloe lived her life unmatched zest, influencing all she touched with her vibrant spirit.

Survived By
Her brothers, Alex and Brian Wong, and her parents, Joseph and Linda Wong, mourn her passing while celebrating the extraordinary person she was. Chloe’s passion for the arts and her advocacy for women’s rights left an indelible mark on her community.

Service Details
A gathering to honour Chloe’s memory will be held on 22nd March 2024, at 2:00 PM, at Church Parlours. The family welcomes everyone whose life was touched by Chloe to share in commemorating her impactful journey.

The Wong family extends heartfelt thanks to Casket Fairprice for their compassionate assistance. They suggest that those wishing to honour Chloe’s legacy contribute to the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations, mirroring her commitment to empowering women.

Chloe’s life was a radiant beacon of love, creativity, and advocacy, leaving a legacy that will inspire and uplift those fortunate enough to have known her.

Obituary Template

Obituary templates serve as a helpful guide to ensure that all the necessary information is included while providing the flexibility to add personal touches that reflect the life and spirit of the deceased.

These templates simplify the writing process, offering a structure that family members can easily personalise, making it easier to navigate through this challenging time.

[Full Name of the Deceased], [Age]
[Full Name], [age], of [Location of Residence], sadly passed away on [Date of Death]. Born on [Date of Birth] in [Place of Birth], [he/she/they] lived a full life marked by [brief mention of significant life achievements, hobbies, or passions].

Survived By
[He/She/They] is survived by [List of Immediate Family Members: spouse, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings] and a close circle of friends and relatives. [Optional: Predeceased by family members].

Service Details
A [Funeral/Memorial] service will be held on [Date], at [Time], at [Location], followed by [Burial/Cremation if applicable] at [Location]. The family invites you to join them in celebrating the life of [Name]. [If applicable: Family asks for donations to be made to X.]

Special Message
In [his/her/their] spare time, [Name] loved [mention hobbies or passions]. [Optional: include a special message, quote, or bible verse significant to the deceased].

Final Words
[Name] touched deeply the lives of all who knew [him/her/them], leaving behind a legacy of [brief mention of the impact on family, friends, and community]. [Family/Friends] will gather for a wake or memorial service to share stories and remember [his/her/their] life.

The family wishes to thank [if applicable: the staff at X hospital/hospice or funeral home and funeral director] for their care and support during this difficult time.

By using this template, you can write an obituary that honours your loved one’s memory while ensuring that all key details are shared with those who were touched by the deceased’s life.

 

Conclusion On How To Make An Obituary

Crafting an obituary is a profound gesture of love and respect, a way to publicly commemorate someone’s life and share their story with the community.

It’s important to remember that a thoughtfully written obituary can offer solace to the bereaved, celebrate the life lived, and mark the beginning of the healing process for all affected.

At Casket Fairprice, we understand the importance of transparency and integrity. Our fully equipped funeral parlours, experienced funeral directors, and comprehensive range of casket services ensure that your loved one is honoured with dignity and respect.

Contact us today, and let our team help you craft a fitting tribute to your loved one, ensuring their legacy is remembered and cherished.

 

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Make An Obituary

How Do I Choose The Right Tone And Style For An Obituary?

Choosing the right tone and style for an obituary depends largely on the deceased’s personality and the family’s preferences. A lighter tone could be fitting if the person was known for their sense of humour or optimistic outlook.

However, it’s important to balance this with respect and sensitivity towards grieving people. Reflecting on the individual’s life, values, and their impact on others can guide you in selecting an appropriate tone and style.

How Long Is An Obituary?

The length of an obituary can vary significantly, but it typically ranges from a few sentences to several paragraphs. Space constraints may limit newspaper publications to 200-300 words, whereas online platforms often allow for more detailed tributes.

The key is to succinctly convey important life events, relationships, and the person’s essence, ensuring that the obituary effectively honours their memory within the given space.

Is It Acceptable To Use Humour In An Obituary?

Using humour in an obituary is acceptable when it genuinely reflects the personality of the deceased and is done with tact and sensitivity. Humour can be a powerful way to celebrate life and share a personal glimpse into the individual’s character.

However, it’s important to consider the feelings of all readers, ensuring the humour does not inadvertently offend or minimise the loss.

Can I Update An Obituary After It Has Been Published?

Updating an obituary after publication is possible, especially on online platforms where changes can be made relatively easily. For newspapers, it may involve publishing a corrected or additional notice at an extra cost.

It’s important to contact the publication or website directly to understand their policies and procedures for updates, corrections, or additions to ensure the obituary accurately reflects the loved one’s memory and family wishes.

How To End An Obituary?

An obituary can be concluded with a personal message of remembrance or a note of gratitude to those who provided care or support.

It’s also common to include details about any memorial services or requests for charitable donations instead of flowers. Finally, ending with a heartfelt sentence that reflects the deceased’s legacy or family’s wishes can provide closure.