How to write an obituary in 4 steps

If you were very close with the deceased, you may already know the important details, like who their family members are and when the funeral is.

An obituary is written so that you may share the sad news that a loved one has passed away. Details on the viewing, memorial service, funeral, and any burial arrangements will be sought after by family, friends, former coworkers, and the community.

Gather information

But you may be writing the obituary as an outsider on behalf of the family to help support them during the grieving process. Either way, it can help to ask the deceased’s close friends and family members to fill in any details you’re missing. This can also give you insight into what other people may want or expect from the obituary and which photo you should use, if applicable.

Look at the things that made them unique

Beyond the biographical details of their life, there were probably a lot of little details that helped shape your loved one into the person you knew and loved. Here, it can help to give yourself specific prompts, like:

  • What is your favorite memory of your loved one?
  • How would most people describe them?
  • What personality traits stand out in your mind?
  • Did they have any hobbies?
  • Are there any quirks that come to mind when you remember them?
  • How would they want to be remembered?

Organize the obituary

Once you’ve compiled all of the information you want to include or consider for the obituary, it’s time to give it structure.


Once you have your obituary in a place that you’re satisfied with, it’s important to take time to proofread it. You’ll want to look for basic things like typos, but you should also pay attention to the tone. It should reflect the person your loved one was, but it should also be respectful and written in an empathetic way. If you aren’t sure whether the tone feels right, try running your draft past someone you trust for their feedback. It’s even more helpful if they also knew the person who has passed. You can also download our app from the playstore or visit our website.