Different Ways to Personalize an Obituary

By: David Tindall
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

How to Personalize an Obituary

How do you summarize an entire life into a few short paragraphs of someone that has passed? That is the primary challenge when it comes to writing an obituary. In a few small paragraphs, you are supposed to communicate what that person meant to you and those around them. You want it to be a true reflection of your loved one. Within this article, we will look at a few ways that you can personalize an obituary.

 

Collect stories

The first place to start gathering stories is by their closest friends and family. You want to try and understand all aspects of their life and learn stories from every stage of their life. Begin by speaking to your loved one’s friends and family, this will give you a new perspective on how they must have viewed your loved one, and it will help you writing. You have one vision in your head of who they were, what they also could be someone completely different to someone else. Take the time to hear the stories, because this will serve as a reminder on how loved they were.

 

Learn about the small details

When you think of your life or the life of your loved ones, there are hundreds of large and small details that make up our lives and who we are as individuals. Some points may seem insignificant to you but maybe that small event will hold a large meaning to someone else. When you are writing an obituary, it is a chance for you to learn even more about your loved one, such as; what were their favourite foods, what were their hobbies, did they have an idol. These are all questions you have the chance to include in your writing.

 

Use examples

This point is something that all writers will tell you: show, don't tell when you are revealing a major character. You should be specific with your writing, avoid general statements like “My mother had a huge heart”, you should explain to your audience through stories and examples of some possible charity work.

 

Use humour

There is a misconception that there should be no humour when you are speaking of death. However, if your loved one was a funny or sarcastic individual that loved to tell jokes or play pranks then use that in your obituary, it helps to convey their personality as well to others. When you are using humour in your obituary you are giving yourself and others a chance to smile and remember the good times that you have had with them. An obituary is an extension of the celebration of life, use those good memories and funny stories where you see it is appropriate.

 

What was their legacy?

This is often the most difficult aspect of the obituary because people do not like to speak of legacies when dealing with lose. But it is important to remember, in a few short works what impact they had on those around them and how that will live on.

 

Why were they so special to you?

This is sometimes the easiest or most difficult point for people when writing a obituary. After learning what your loved one meant to so many other people, how do you also describe the unique features that made them important to you. This is the part of the obituary that is going to come from the heart, search deep down and learn what that relationship meant to you.

 

At Tindall Funeral Home, we have years of experience supporting families when they need it most, as they encounter loss and grief. Contact us for more information or to find the answers to any questions you may have. 

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