A lot goes into planning a funeral for a loved one, but Alabama Funeral Homes & Cremation Centers will be right by your side during the entire process. One task that causes a lot of concern for families is how to write an obituary and get the obituary published.

Let us reassure you that our staff can assist you with this. We know that you may have difficulty coming up with the appropriate words for your loved one’s obituary during this time of overwhelming grief. We have a lot of experience with writing them. With your assistance, we can write an accurate account of your loved one’s life.

At the same time, we know that many of our families choose to write the obituary themselves. Please let us offer some tips on how to write an obituary.

How to write an obituary

Like writing anything else, writing an obituary is a process. Allow yourself plenty of time. Here is a step-by-step guide.

1) Get in the right frame of mind.

Think of an obituary as a news account of your loved one’s death. This doesn’t mean it has to be utterly devoid of emotion, but its primary purpose is to inform others that a person has died. Obituaries usually include information about the deceased’s life and death and details about the upcoming services.

2) Gather the facts.

Your loved one deserves to have an accurately written obituary. Think about the details that you may want to include.

We invite you to visit our website and download our Obituary Template Sample to help you with the process.

  • Here is a list of the information that is usually included in an obituary:
  • Full name of the deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Age at death
  • Cause of death (optional)
  • Birthplace and birthdate
  • Full names of parents
  • Name of spouse and date of the wedding
  • Military service information
  • Occupation
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Community involvement or leadership
  • Awards
  • Religious organizations
  • Personality traits
  • Names of the survivors, including children, siblings, parents, grandchildren, etc.
  • Service information
  • Special instructions for services

Double-check the facts you may wish to include. Make sure everyone’s names are spelled correctly, and double-check any dates that you include.
You may need assistance from other family members to complete this process. You may also need to look through old records as well.

3. Give yourself time to edit and add details.

Some people report having brain fog after losing a loved one. For this reason, give yourself several hours (or overnight) before you submit it for publication. This will provide you with time to add details that you may have forgotten. You may also uncover additional facts to include as you go through your loved one’s belongings.

When you feel as if you have crafted an accurate obituary, have several other people edit it. Ask family members to double-check the accuracy of each statement. You may also want to ask a trusted friend to remove any grammatical errors.

How to get the obituary published

Once you have perfected the obituary, it is time to get it published. Please know that Alabama Funeral Homes & Cremation Centers will assist you with the publication of your loved one’s obituary. Here are some thoughts to consider when informing the public about your loved one’s death.

Publishing the obituary in a newspaper

You may desire to have your loved one’s obituary printed in your local newspaper. Each publication has its own regulations regarding obituaries, but it is worth noting that many of them charge a per-word fee to publish the notice.

Some families write two versions of their loved one’s obituary — a shorter one to be published in the paper and a longer one to share online.

It is also worth noting that some newspapers will only print obituaries submitted through a funeral home. Of course, our staff will assist you with this.

Funeral home website

Many funeral homes, including Alabama Funeral Homes & Cremation Centers, also publish obituaries on their website. Talk with our staff about this process.

Social media

Some families place a link to their loved one’s obituary on their social media page. They may “tag” their loved one to ensure that his or her connections are informed of the death.

We are here to help!

Please know that Alabama Funeral Homes & Cremation Centers’ staff is here to assist you with writing and publishing your loved one’s obituary. It is our honor to help you, and we appreciate you entrusting us with something so important.