How to Write an Obituary

Writing your own obituary is a great way to help shape your personal life story after you die. There is no right or wrong way to do it, and there are many alternatives to publishing it when the time comes. A recent article in the Seattle Times explained how the act of writing one could make thinking and talking about death easier.

You may also be faced with writing an obituary honoring a  family member’s life when they pass, so knowing the basics of what you’ll want to include will help make that task a little easier. You might even find that working on the obituary gives you a chance to share stories and memories with family members. You and your family may even share a few laughs as you work together on it.

Many newspapers have partnerships with the website Legacy.com. When you write an obituary, you choose how many days — and which days — it will run in the newspaper. You may also be directed to set up a page on the Legacy website where people can leave messages of support.

The Legacy site offers many tips on obituary writing which you can use even if you choose to use another place to publish the story.

You may be surprised at the price of placing a formal obituary and therefore, be interested in alternatives.

Ever Loved is another website where you can post an online memorial and offers other services like fundraising. There are a number of other websites that have online memorial spaces. These alternatives may be less expensive than the traditional newspaper approach.

A free alternative to publishing an obituary or memorial page either online or in the newspaper for your loved one is to use social media. If you aren’t familiar with how to post to Facebook or Instagram, you might ask a friend or family member for help. If the loved one was on social media, you may be able to turn their own pages into memorial sites. You can learn more about how to create a “memorialized (Facebook) account” here.

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