Writing the Perfect Obituary for a Loved One

March 30th, 2022

Writing an obituary for a loved one can be a challenging task. You may still be grieving their loss and are unsure what information you should include or how even to approach writing an obituary to begin with. If this is your first time writing an obituary, here are some tips on how to write an obituary to make the process easier.

Preparing to Write an Obituary for a Loved One

To begin writing an obituary, you should start by collecting the information you will use. Ask your family members and any friends of the deceased for stories and details about them that they want to be included or can offer insight into their lives. This is also a good opportunity to gauge whether your family wants a traditional or humorous angle; not all obituaries need to be serious. Consider what the family, and by extension, the deceased, would want for the tone of the obituary.

No matter how many useful details and stories you compile, you may not be able to include them all. Should you choose to publish an obituary for a loved one in the paper, you may need to pay more depending on the length and if you want to include a photo. Alternatively, most digital obituaries are free, so determine which of the two options are best during your planning stage.

Include Key Information

After obtaining useful information, you’re ready to begin writing an obituary. Begin with announcing their death and then include the basic information readers will want to know. These key details include:

Their full name
Their age at death
Their date of birth
The day they passed
Where they were born
Where they lived when they passed
How many children or grandchildren they had
And, if permitted by their loved ones, their cause of death

It is possible to introduce all of this key information within the same sentence or two at the start, which will help you save space for their life summary if word length is an influence.

Additionally, it is imperative that all the information you include is accurate. Obituaries can be used as records, so ensuring that their name is spelled correctly and the respective dates are correct is important. Don’t hesitate to ask family members to proofread the information you used; they may have other details you may not have considered, given you still have enough room to include them.

Offer a Glimpse Into Their Life

Next, you can start writing a summary of your loved one’s life. Include details that readers will find interesting or relate to, such as the deceased’s hobbies, passions, careers, and most importantly, what they were like as a person. Such details will help make their obituary more personalized than it was before.

There is no right or wrong way when writing an obituary, although there are different approaches you can take. Writing their life story in chronological order will help provide a sense of what their life was like; however, placing more important details closer to the start is also correct. This is your opportunity to be a storyteller of your loved one’s life and to help readers understand the kind of person they were.

Conclude With Funeral Information

Lastly, you will want to leave room for the details regarding the memorial or funeral service at the end of the obituary, should your family make those events public. Be sure to list details such as the date, time, and location of the service, as those are facts that individuals who want to intend will want to know. Furthermore, you can include the address of where you want flowers to be sent at the end of the obituary as well.

If you’re preparing to schedule traditional burial services in Philadelphia and other locations in the vicinity, you can place your trust in McCafferty Funeral Home for professional assistance. We also offer cremation services and other functions. Contact us for more information.


For more information about planning a burial or to schedule a consultation, please call 215-531-5014.

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  • This is the only funeral home my family has ever used…

    The team at McCafferty Funeral home made this extremely difficult process a breeze. Thank you Mr. Mark & Lisa and Koryn you guys were so wonderful and understanding. I highly recommend this wonderful place.

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