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Obituary & Newspaper Notices

After the loss of a loved one, family members are often overwhelmed by all the decisions that must be made in the midst of their grief. One of the details that must be taken care of is the writing of the obituary. If you have recently lost a loved one and don’t know where to start with the obituary, you may find the following tips useful. This information will walk you step-by-step through the process of writing a great obituary.

Some families prefer to write their own obituary/notice, sometimes the funeral director will write the obituary and other times it will be a collaborative effort. The stories can be long or short, detailed or general, include family and relatives and attempt to summarize a life’s story. Most will include a photo although sometimes it is a current photo and sometimes it is a photo of the person when they were younger. There are many opinions, options and traditions regarding obituaries, and it may vary depending on where you grew up and your family preferences. At Spring Grove Funeral Homes, we offer to place your loved one’s obituary with a photo on our website at no charge. We will share the link to our site with you in email so you can share it with your friends and family or post on social media. Family and friends may leave messages of support, sympathy and comfort by signing the electronic guest book. If you select our complimentary memorial tribute video, it will be posted with the obituary for everyone to view.

Newspaper notices, requirements and prices vary from newspaper to newspaper and can vary significantly from city to city or between states. Most newspapers charge by the line and handle the formatting. Including a photo is often an additional cost. On average, you will see obituaries in Cincinnati start around $500 for basic information. Your funeral director will assist you in placing the obituary, confirming the price and publication date(s). Be aware there are cut off times for publication so it is important to proof and approve your notice well before the deadline so your funeral director can submit it on time.

Obituary Writing Tips

If you want to write the obituary of your loved one, here are some tips:

Start off the obituary by announcing the death of the loved one. Provide the name and a very brief description, the age of the deceased, and the day of passing. You can probably squeeze all this information into one sentence. For example:

To write a great obituary, it’s important to capture the spirit of the loved one who has passed. Compose a paragraph that describes not only what your loved one did, but also what your loved one was like. For example, focus on hobbies, passions, and personal characteristics. Remember, newspapers will charge you by line, word, or inch (depending on the publication), so don’t write more than you can afford. A short, factual obituary might be all you need. But if you want to write a special, personalized obituary, include details like this:

While you don’t have to mention every nephew and cousin by name, it’s important to write a general overview of the family members who passed away before the loved one as well as the surviving family. Close family members can be listed by name, and other relatives can be referred to more generally.

Provide the date, time, and location of the funeral, visitation, mass, graveside, reception or celebration of life. Also include information regarding donations, flowers, or condolences.

Put it all together, and you’ve got a complete obituary.

Sample Obituary

Review for mistakes Check, check, and check again. Once you are satisfied with the finished product, pass it off to a friend or a dispassionate third party for review. Since obituaries are composed during a time of grief, it’s not always easy to keep a clear mind when writing one. It’s always good to get multiple perspectives. When you are sure that the obituary is as good as it can be, send it off for publication

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