Writing an Obituary | Tips from a Funeral Home

Writing an obituary for a loved one is a final way of saying goodbye. While sad, writing about your loved one gives you an opportunity to think back through all of the wonderful times that you shared, and gives you the chance to tell their story to the world by noting their accomplishments. Ensuring that the obituary that you write contains accurate information is the first step, but what else should you include–and is there anything you should absolutely leave out? Learn how our Arizona funeral homes recommend you honor your loved one through prose.

Getting Started

One of the first things that you should do is to speak with your funeral director. They can provide you with examples of other obituaries, and may even be able to give you a starting point for your writing. At our Arizona Funeral homes, Mountain View Funeral Homes directors are ready and willing to help support you during this emotional time. Here’s a few of the facts that you will want to add to your loved one’s obituary:

  • Full name and age
  • Birth date, with birthplace
  • City of residence at the time of death
  • Listing of relatives, including children, parents and significant other
  • Information on the funeral arrangements

These optional fields can help your audience learn more about your loved one and their life:

  • Their hobbies and profession
  • Major achievements
  • Churches, clubs and other organizations to which they belonged
  • Marriage dates

Keep it Positive

Just as there are details that will bring a smile to the face of readers, there are always a few items that we recommend you don’t include in the obituary. Things like:

  • Note anything that is negative about the deceased
  • Include information that you cannot verify as factual (e.g. the deceased received a certain honor or award and it can’t be verified)
  • Stick to basic information–this is not the time to write an entire biography about your loved one
  • Include a photo that is not flattering or is out of focus

Arizona funeral homes such as Mountain Valley Funeral Home and Cemetery offer a 24-hour answering service for all your needs, and our friendly staff and funeral directors are always available to help answer any questions. Be sure to have your family or friends proofread the obituary before you submit it to the paper, and let the paper know immediately if there are any problems with the way the obituary was printed.

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