How to Write an Obituary

Benjamin Harris was a maverick in the early days of journalism. He was not alone but he definitely stood out from the crowd.

The fee is often determined by the size of the obituary, either by the number of words or the number of inches the obituary will take up in the paper.Online obituary notices can be a good alternative, particuarly if the family is widespread. These online resources allow family and friends who are scattered around the country or around the world to share their sympathies and memories about someone who has died. If my name is not on it, I get up."

Whether the information sent to the paper comes from the funeral home or crematorium or from an obituary writtten by the family, ultimately it is up to the family to get the correct information in the newspaper.

If the information is provided to the paper by the attending mortuary, funeral home or crematorium, the service may be included in the price paid for the funeral or cremation service.

What do I need to know about writing an Obituary?

Most people do not know anything about obituaries before they have to write one. Therefore, not every obituary submitted to the paper is published.Newspapers often select those obituaries that have the greatest public interest to their readership to publish in the papers.Some newspapers publish a short obituaries or death notices for free.Many newspapers require a significant fee to publish an obituary or death notice. Survivors listed in an obituary usually include spouse, children, grandchildren, siblings, parents and other close relatives.Memberships in local or national organizationsMilitary service.Funeral, Memorial and Burial arrangements.Many longer obituaries or paid death notices may also include:Education.Occupation and work or employment history.Achievements, publications and/or awards.Offices held in government, professional or community organizations.Memberships in fraternal, religious, community or civic organizations.Hobbies or activities.Anecdotes and recollections of friends and relatives.Before turning in the obituary for publication be sure to check with the newspaper to see if they will publish the obituary for free or will require a fee. The online memorials have an added benefit on being available 25 hours 7 day a week for people to share their grief.

Online obituaries have an additional benefit of often costing less than the newspaper obituary. One private obituary that ran in the New York Times in August 2008 for Monique Yazigi was reported to have a price tag of $5,000 to publish.What Is an Online Obituary?

Online obituaries and virtual memorials are becoming popular options for families to announce a death in the family. An online version allows dispersed family members and friends to publish their online condolences.What Information Does the Newspaper Need?

To make it easier on family members who may need to write an obituary, the following checklist of information is usually needed in most obituaries:

Name, age, occupation and city of deceased.Time and place of death.Some include cause of death.Birthdate and birthplace.Survivors. Then I look at the obituary page. Squidoo.

. Can I Send Text Message Condolences?: Etiquette for Texting Bad News Sympathies and Condolences.

Many people start their day reading the obituaries published in the paper. Several things to consider before placing an obituary or death notice include:

Many newspapers have limited space for publishing obituaries. Writing an Obituary: Helpful Information on How to Write a Funeral Obituary or Death Notice. Benjamin Franklin once wrote of obituarites, "I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Depending on the paper, publishing an obituary can be an expensive option. Suite 101.

Dyer KA. 2008. They may be provided by the newspaper for an additional fee.

More Resources:

Dyer KA. Survivors listed depend on the age of the person who had died. 2008

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