How To Write An Obituary

When a loved one passes away, it’s hard to put into words exactly how you’d like them to be remembered. Often, this task is one that’s handed off to a family member of the deceased. Whether it’s the college graduate or the writer in the family, the job of writing the obituary is one that can be challenging. When a loved one passes away, it’s some of the most stressful and overwhelming thing that can happen to a person. Neptune Society is here to provide you with some things to remember regarding writing an obituary to make it easier for you. If you recently lost a loved one and you’ve been chosen to write the obituary, consider the following tips courtesy of Neptune Society.

Announce That Your Loved One Has Passed

Think of an obituary as an announcement that your loved one has passed away. This is a great place to start your writing. Information to include within the first sentence is the name of the deceased, a description of who they were (children, employment, other achievements, etc.) and the day they passed away. Most often, all of this information can be included within one sentence to start off the obituary of your loved one.

Provide Some Additional Information About The Person

Following the announcement section, it’s a good idea to start penning a more biographical section regarding the deceased. Where they’re from, what they did for a living, where they went to school, hobbies, and anything else that made this person who they were are great ideas of things to list here. Additional information about their family, including ages of the people that survived them, is also appropriate to list in this biographical section. It’s important to make your writing impactful in this section. As with all of your obituary, your goal should be to putting as much impact into as few words as possible.

Make The Obituary Personal

After the initial biographical section of your obituary writing, feel free to expand on some of the talking points you made there. Think of this section as memorializing the spirit of the deceased. Why did they love fishing so much? What made them a lifelong chef? Whatever made that person special should be touched upon heavily within your obituary. If you’re writing the obituary, chances are you’re familiar with the person who passed, or you’re close enough to the family to ask relevant questions. Did this person become a teacher because their parents were teachers? Did this person open a business due to a passion? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself, and in turn, answering within your obituary to make it truly meaningful. Don’t only touch on what this person liked to do, you should also mention what this person was like. Did they like to laugh, or were they more serious? Make sure that your writing is appropriate, based on what that person was like. It’s important to note that newspapers, publications, and other places where obituaries cost money will charge you by word or line. Make sure that you’re only writing as much as you or the family can afford to be published.

Mention The Family Members

It isn’t necessary to mention every single family member this person had, but mentioning their immediate family, as well as those members that were specifically close to them is a nice touch. People like their spouse, children, and even grandchildren are appropriate to list within the obituary. If they had cousins or nieces or nephews that were specifically close to them, you may want to mention them as well.

Include Information About Funerals And/Or Memorial Services

An obituary is also an appropriate place to mention things like where the funeral or memorial services may be held. Include the location like the funeral home, restaurant, park, or wherever it may be held, the day and date, as well as the times the funeral or memorial service is expected to begin and conclude.

Put It All Together For A Complete Obituary

Now that you have your sections concisely laid out, put all of them together and ensure that it reads nicely. If it’s going to be published in a paid publication, consider “trimming the fat” and cutting down on the obituary where you can. Run on sentences, unnecessary thoughts or wording, and things of that nature should be reviewed thoroughly.

Review Your Work For Any Mistakes

Make sure that you read, reread, and read the obituary you’ve written again. Make sure that spelling and grammar is correct. Run it through an online grammar checking and spell checking tool to ensure that there are no issues like that. Additionally, make sure that the names of the family, location, date, and time of the services are all correct. Once you’ve reviewed it personally, send it to another family member or friend of the deceased to ensure everything checks out on their end. Once you’ve put this all together and reviewed your work with another family member, you can consider the job of writing an obituary done.

Neptune Society Is Here For You In Your Time Of Need

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is stressful enough as it is. Here at Neptune Society, we aim to make end-of-life services as stress free as possible. We work with the family of the deceased each step of the way to ensure that they can focus on what matters while we handle the tough and tiring work. Whether you’re planning for a loved one or for yourself, we’re here for you. To learn more about Neptune Society, give us a call at 1-800-NEPTUNE or contact us online today.


The Neptune Society is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of affordable cremation services. Whether you have an immediate need or want to plan cremation services in advance, we are always available to assist you and your family.

Call 1-800-NEPTUNE (800-637-8863) today or contact us online to learn more.