What Is A Funeral Obituary

the.funeral.obituary.jpgThe funeral obituary is a biography or life reflection of the deceased that is written and shared within a funeral program or printed memorial handout. It can also be found in a newspaper in the Obituaries or Death Notices section. The obituary outlines a life synopsis of the deceased from birth through death. It highlights where they grew up, marriage, career, and involvement in worthy causes or organizations as well as any military involvement.

The obituary is considered to be an integral part of a funeral service although it is not formally defined as a legal document. It can inform people of a death and announcement of the funeral s not a legal document, the obituary is traditionally used as the death announcement of a loved one, and gives important information and details about the viewing or wake, funeral or memorial service. 

Memorializing The Obituary

It can be as detailed as the family wants when included in a funeral program but the newspaper obituaries are shorter due to the amount of text limitation each obituary has. Usually the family will shorten the biography to fit within the restrictions of the newspaper and include the full length version within the printed memorial bulletin or a memorial book. Along with the full write up may include photographs throughout the years that are related to what is included in the obituary. If it is a long biography, families will opt to place it within a memorial book so no limitations are placed on the amount of text and photos. The Funeral Program Site offers a great memorial book that can be customized and created as a legacy keepsake.

Sometimes people refer to the funeral program as an obituary program. The reason for this is because the main item of content is the obituary thus calling it the program for the obituary. So if you hear the term "obituary program" know that it is referring to the funeral program and is one and the same.

Obituary Authorship

The funeral obituary is typically written by a surviving spouse, close family member after death, or even the deceased prior to death. If they are able, some people want to write their own biography during the final stages of life to help their loved one with the details and gives them something meaningful to do for the family.  It is extremely helpful and special to the surviving family members because their loved one wrote it in their own words. When death is near and eminent and the loved one is not able to write it but is coherent enough to speak you can have someone transcribed it for them. Another alternative is gather memoirs or a journal a loved one has kept. You can make this a type of biography written and expressed in the person's own wording and handwriting. This task of creating an obituary can also be delegated to a family member of one or two for more of a team effort.

The funeral obituary is a nice read to leave to the deceased legacy of family members. It will be cherished as each generation reads about a matriarch in the family or find more about their roots. It's not a necessity but it can also serve as a form of tribute to the deceased. Even babies get an obituary written. Even though the life may have only spanned for a few days, weeks, or months, the obituary contains more of a loving tribute about their characteristics and surviving family members. There is always something to write about a family member who died. If the traditional items are non-existent, you can perhaps write about his or her personality, their favorite things, what they loved to do or where they grew up.

If you need help on what to include or how to write an obituary, please see our references below to get ideas and see actual samples written.