What to Include in Obituaries

By: Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation
Tuesday, February 18, 2020

There is so much that goes into planning a funeral or memorial at a funeral home in Sterling, IL. From choosing flowers and music to greeting guests, its overwhelming. The bereaved are also tasked with writing an obituary.   

 

Do you know what goes into an obituary? Most people don’t. This guide will be a big help if you’re ever faced with the task.  

 

Obituaries usually start with basic information such as the name, age, and place of residence of the deceased. This is followed by the death announcement, including the time and place of death. Most people choose to use a softer word or term than “death,” such as “passed away” or “went to be with the Lord” etc. Many people are unsure whether or not to list the cause of death in the obituary. At the end of the day, the cause of death is only the family’s business, and does not need to be shared unless the immediate family chooses. However, if the death was sudden and unexpected, listing the cause of death in the public obituary might field questions and repetitions at the funeral.  

 

Most obituaries include funeral information so people can attend if they choose. List the essentials: time, full date and place of service along with the name of the officiate; time, full date and place of burial or interment if applicable; and finally, time, full date and place of visitation. As the saying goes, the funeral is for the living. The same can be said for the obituary, so a key element is listing the surviving family members and loved ones. Take care to not forget anyone, but don’t feel the need to list every single member of the extended family. 

 

Obituaries also have biographical sketches of the deceased. The key word in this portion is “sketch.” Many people are tempted to write a full account of the deceased’s life. While some people may find that interesting or helpful, the obituary is only meant to detail the most important aspects of his life. Some key pieces to include are the date and place of birth, parent’s names including mother’s maiden name, date and place of marriage, birth name of spouse, education, work, and military service. Feel free to list events chronologically, or to take a more creative approach. Don’t forget to mention specific important relationships and the effect the deceased had on people’s lives. For example, did he have a great sense of humor? Was he an exceptional host, golfer, singer? Did he always make time for the kids?  

 

Most people choose to include a special thank you or message at the end. This may also include a prayer or poem to help the bereaved deal with their grief or send a special message to loved ones.  

 

Please reach out to Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation to learn more about obituaries or Sterling, IL funeral homes. You can stop by and visit us at 702 1st Ave Sterling, IL 61081 or give us a call at (815) 626-1131.  

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