Obituary: Everything You Need To Know

Obituary: Everything you need to know

In simple terms, an obituary is the announcement of death. Preparing an obituary for someone you love should be approached with care and thoughtfulness. Having an obituary professionally prepared, whether in print or online, is a great way to ensure the person being remembered is represented accurately and with the dignity they deserve.

Though, we know that it is tough to share about the demise of a close family member. But it is an obligation to inform about the death of a close person. This article will help you identify all the elements needed for an obituary and outline the best way to write this important tribute.

How to Write the Perfect Obituary?

An obituary includes personal details about the deceased person. So it was evident that immediate family members could publish this news. Obituary writing can help you deal with your sorrow if you’ve recently lost someone. Writing an obituary is directly related to organizing your thoughts and feelings about the deceased person. It is a way to honor the life of the dead. 

An obituary is a news about the person’s death, and it also tells the story about the life of the deceased person. The loss of a person is sorrowful but sharing the grief with other people reminds the aggrieved person of fond memories of the deceased person.

News about the death is also a record for the future generation. Future generations can refer to the past obituary note to understand their family tree. 

Following is a list of a few tips which can help a person’s Obituary writing.

  1. Write the obituary note without any pressure. You can make changes after the final draft even. So don’t pressure yourself.
  2. Mention a few details about the life background of the deceased person at the beginning of the obituary.
  3. Summarize the deceased one’s achievement in the obituary. Include all the achievements made by the deceased person in their lifetime.
  4. Include hobbies and interests of the deceased person. If they had any talent, mention that talent also.
  5. Acknowledge those who supported your family in the difficult times in the final paragraph.

These guidelines can help a person write an Obituary writing examples perfectly.

How to Write a Great Obituary- 8 Step Guide?

An obituary is a news about the demise of a loved one. People share information and personal details about the deceased person in an obituary. An obituary is made live to inform the family, friends, and local community members about the sad news. These 8 steps will help you to write a great obituary.

  1. Decide What to Include in an Obituary: The content of the obituary must be meaningful. The content must be related to the deceased person. It should not deviate from the basic concept of obituary. 
  2. Decide How to Share the Obituary: Today’s era is of social media platforms. People share every small detail on their social media platforms. However, conventional sources are also good. Decide how you want to share the news of grief.
  3. Read the Already Written Obituaries: Read the obituaries which are already published. A person can know what to include and what not to include in an obituary.
  4. Chat with the Closely Related Persons of the Deceased: Chat with a close friend after preparing the final draft of an obituary. Ensure the details mentioned about the deceased are true.
  5. Personalize the Obituary: The raw emotions can quickly help a person write the obituary. The emotion must reflect in the obituary. 
  6. Spend Time to Pick the Best Photographs: Take your time and pick the best photographs of the deceased person. The photographs have the memories, and sharing memories in the obituary can be a true honor to the departed soul.
  7. Get the Proofreading Done: Read the obituary after preparing it. Get this done by another person as well. It will ensure that no mistakes are made in the obituary.
  8. Learn About the Submission Process: Choose the platform to stream the news once you finalize the obituary. Newspapers have a proper procedure to follow if you want to publish the news in the newspaper. Get help from the funeral homes to make the obituary live.

What Does It Mean When An Obituary Says Someone Was "Preceded in Death"?

An obituary is an announcement of death. It is time-consuming and very emotional. An obituary contains condolences and an overview of the deceased’s life.  Here is the description of the term ‘obituary’ to assist you in writing the wordings for an obituary.

What is the meaning of "Preceded in Death"?

The objective of an obituary is to capture an overview of the deceased’s life. Speaking with the deceased’s family can help you know more clearly about the deceased person. 

The names of the surviving family member must be taken after an obituary. As per the obituary, the dead will be “preceded in death” by the selected persons. This reflects the deceased’s person’s relatives died before the present deceased.

Difference between Preceded and Predeceased

Both the terms have the same meaning. The correct form indicates ‘that his parents predeceased the obituary’s subject.’ However, most people prefer the term “preceded in death.” This is a more formal and less clinical tone. 

Synonym for the Phrase

The phrases ‘Preceded in Death‘ and ‘Predeceased in Death‘ are used as synonyms. The former phrase is typically formal and easy to speak. At the same time, the latter is the correct one. 

So let us see some of the synonyms for this phrase.

  1. Passed Away: This phrase is commonly used as the synonym for the given phrase in various obituaries.
  2. Previously Departed: Today’s generation has become more sophisticated. The phrase ‘previously departed’ explains the original phrase correctly. 
  3. Religious Terms and Symbols: When a departed soul has strong religious beliefs, then the use of typical religious symbols are the best synonyms. A symbol that signifies religious sentiments is the best way to denote a religious person.
  4. Reached Eternal Rest: This is another religious term used as a synonym to mention a previously departed person. 

5 Ways to Find Someone's Obituary Online or Offline

Obituaries are published online and offline. The best way to an obituary is to look at the local newspaper where the deceased used to live. However, sometimes, an obituary may not be found in the newspapers.

There are other ways to find an obituary which will be explored in this blog post. The process of finding an obituary online or offline is not much complicated. Before jumping to the main topic, let us first see the search requirements for an obituary.

  • The first and the last name of the deceased person.
  • Date of death
  • Place of death

Now let us see where we can find an obituary for a specific person.

    1. Use Search Engines: A search engine is a programmed algorithm that classifies all the data and indexes of all the information available on the web. Search engines such as Yahoo, Google, and Bing can help you to find out the obituary of your loved one.
    2. Legacy.Com: This website holds an obituary of about 70% of deaths in the US. Furthermore, it has a database of popular newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.


      For searching the obituary of a person, enter the first and last name of that person. You can narrow down the search by entering more specific details such as the country, location, and the date of the death. is the best website to search for the obituary of your loved one.

    3. This website is a database of histories and genealogies. You must start with a free trial or buy a subscription to access this website for a year.

      The subscription charges $24.99 per month.


  • Genealogy Bank: Genealogy bank is one of the most significant databases of newspapers that date back from the 1690s and beyond. To do so, go to the website; enter the name, date of death, and the last location of the deceased person.
    After doing this, you will be directed to the relevant details.


  1. Online Cemeteries: Searching for online cemeteries can be of some help to you. The obituaries are regularly posted on these websites.


    This process is lengthy, but it can take you directly to the required obituary. However, if the obituary you are looking for is too old, you may face difficulty.

The method mentioned above to find an obituary is entirely online. There are specific offline methods also present. For instance, public libraries have a record of old newspapers. Obituaries which were published in the newspaper can be found there.

The Mormon Church Family History Library is another way to find out the obituary. This library holds a database of all the families associated with the Mormon Church. If the obituary you are looking for is associated with this church, your problem will be instantly solved.


An obituary is the declaration of news about the demise of a loved one. However, there are certainly more things that are related to an obituary. Those things are mentioned in the above sections. An obituary allows sharing the pain with the family, friends, and local community. 

Sharing information about our loved ones lets us down-drain the grief feelings. Writing an obituary is not a legal obligation, but it is a societal duty.