What is an obituary?

Following the death of a loved one, there are often many ceremonial and tributary traditions that take place before, during and after a funeral service. Here we discuss obituaries; what they are, where you can find them, why they are important and more.

An obituary is a piece of writing that provides a brief biography about someone after they have passed away. They act as tributes that honour the person who has passed away, and tell others about their passing, life, and funeral arrangements.

What Is Included In An Obituary?

Obituaries are traditionally short pieces of writing offering a summary of who the person is. Basic information, such as their name, age and date of death, are often used to announce their passing.

If you wish, obituaries can be longer pieces that act as a more detailed tribute. Notices can include a special poem, an obituary photo, reference of surviving family members, or a brief biography of the person’s life that recounts their achievements and significant lifetime events. People sometimes add information about where and when the funeral or memorial service will be held.

Depending on where the obituary is being published, the writer may need to consider the overall word limit of the piece as newspapers tend to charge by the word when included in print.

Where Can I Find Obituaries?

Traditionally, written obituaries are found in local and national newspapers. In recent years, however, online obituaries are becoming increasingly popular. This format allows a person to share an obituary more widely and can be published either for free or in return for a donation.

Why Are Obituaries Important?

An obituary offers a special space for someone to pay tribute to a loved one who has passed away. They are pieces of writing that help to immortalise someone, highlight their lifetime achievements, and express how much they mean to those close to them.

They can be an extremely emotive and difficult piece of writing to create for those close to someone who has passed away. The process of researching and writing someone’s obituary can help people work through their grief as they are able to remember and honour them in their own words.

Beyond this, an obituary also acts as a notice informing others of someone’s death. An obituary may be the first way many locals will find out about the passing of someone in their community.

Who Writes An Obituary?

This is dependent on who has passed away and where the obituary is being published. Typically, for a local newspaper or online obituary, the tribute is written by someone close to the person who has passed away, such as a family member or a friend.

Can You Write Your Own Obituary?

Anyone is welcome to write their own obituary if they wish to. Although an obituary is usually written by a loved one, people often create one for themselves as they come to terms with their own mortality or as part of a creative exercise to help them through the process.

Who Gets An Obituary?

Anyone can have an obituary once they have passed away. Whether a person gets one or not is not dependent on how significant or impactful their life was – it is down to the wishes of the person who has passed away and their loved ones.

Sometimes, if the person has achieved significant things or perhaps made a profound difference to their community, they will be honoured with an obituary detailing their life in a local publication or online forum.

Free Online Obituary At T. Allen Funeral Service

Here at T. Allen, we offer a free online obituary as part of our service. This includes a funeral organiser, and a donation tool that allows others to easily donate in memory of your loved one. Our obituary service saves you time and stress in communicating the funeral details and also allows friends and family to share their memories of your loved one.

Contact T. Allen For Help & Advice

We have been providing specialist, compassionate funeral care in Medway since 1995. Over the years, we have helped countless local families across the Medway Towns through extraordinarily difficult times. If you need any more help or advice on funeral arrangements, please contact us today and we can provide you with information and support.