In our last blog, we addressed the definition of obituary, as well as the history behind using obituaries to memorialize noted individuals in society, as well as loved ones who are special to our circle of family and friends. Links to the obituaries of those served by Hilgenfeld Mortuary are provided on the website along with information on funeral or memorial services. These written tributes, also called death notices, mean a great deal to those who read them and often present quite a challenge to those tasked with writing one. Here is what is usually included in a typical obituary.
1. Announcement of the Death: Provide the name and a very brief description. It is not required to list the cause of death, that is at the discretion of the writer. The age of the deceased and the day of passing are usually included.
2. General Biographical Information: Keep in mind that short and simple is always best when drafting a written piece. Tailor the biography to the things important to your loved one, hometown, education, marriage, work history or personal or professional accomplishments. Turn to others who knew the individual to find out what they think should be included. Remember, keep it simple and short.
3. Make it Personal: Whether you share a favorite poem, tell a story or anecdote, the purpose of an obituary is to remember the special life that has been lost. You might list special hobbies, an organization the individual supported or a cause that brought out his/her passion.
4. List Family Members: Most obituaries include the close family members who are grieving the loss. Include the names of a spouse or partner, siblings, children, grandchildren. It is up to you to determine aif you want to include close relatives who have passed before. You may choose to either list the name or simply the relation to the deceased.
5. Services: Listing the time and location of the services and whether they are public or private is a good way to close the obituary. You can also include a link to the mortuary's website where people can go for more information.
6. Photos: This is an option and you can decide whether or not to use a current or older photo. There will be an additional cost when publishing in a newspaper.
We also suggest that you GOOGLE information to help with drafting your obituary. There are a number of good examples and tips available.
Our next blog will cover where and how to get your obituary published.