How to Write an Obituary in 4 Easy Stepson October 11th, 2011 at 4:30 PM
By Mike Lee
We see a lot of obituaries on the newspaper or on the programs that accompany funeral rites. They look pretty easy to make; but in truth, we never realize the fact that writing one might be tricky.
If you are given such a task, you might be hard-pressed on knowing how to write an obituary that is eloquent enough to address your message, without insulting people along the way.
Here are 4 simple steps on how to write an obituary effectively:
Come Up With An Outline
The first step in writing an obituary starts off by creating an outline that will reflect the entire content of the message. Get a sheet of paper and create an outline that will serve as a basis for writing it. Your outline must include:
• Introduction that states the name, age, date of birth, and time of death of the deceased person. Some writers include the cause of death into the make of their obituaries, but this is optional and is only included in a case-to-case basis.
• Background of the deceased or a short biography.
• Any information about the surviving relatives, starting off with the immediate family — like the spouse and kids, and moving on up the list.
Say Something About The Deceased
The second step on how to write an obituary is to include a backgrounder or a short biography on the deceased.
You might want to describe the person in detail, like his or her attitudes, behavior, good sides, and so on. You need to come up with enough info that will tell the reader who the person is before he or she died.
As with most obituaries, you seldom hear anything negative about the deceased. If you do plan to put one in, then convert it into something neutral and counter it with something positive that will overshadow your previous remark.
Avoid putting your personal opinions in the way of making a short biography of the deceased, if you don’t want an angry audience breathing down your neck.
Note The Immediate Family
Next, you need to list down the immediate family of the deceased in your obituary. You might want to start with the spouse and children, then move farther to include parents, grand-parents, cousins, and so on. You can also include the name of his or her closest friends or workmates.
The most important step on how to write an obituary involves the emotions that you give to the audience or to the readers.
Concerned with the immediate family and friends who had lost a loved one, it is very important to make your obituary sound positive.
Refrain from saying anything ill about the deceased, and focus more on the positive information about his or her life – his or her accomplishments, the fun times he or she had with you and the family, and so on.
Focusing on these steps on how to write an obituary will simplify your task immensely, particularly if this is your first time to make one.
Aside from putting all the information in about the deceased, you also need to convey the message in a way that will uplift the hearts of those around you, as well as tell them to continue living their lives in happiness and peace.
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