Writing an Obituary

Writing an Obituary

Obituaries are an important way of remembering and honouring your loved one once they have passed away and should be written by someone who knew the deceased person well as they contain personal stories about the person’s life.

Tips for writing an obituary

You will need to start with basic information, like full name, age, date of birth, and date of death. It might help to talk to various family and friends to try and find out more about your loved one’s past. These could involve:

  • Career moves
  • Serious relationships
  • Children
  • Moving cities or countries
  • Qualifications earned
  • Beloved pets
  • Community involvement.

Pick out the most memorable events in your loved one’s life and use them as a starting point for an interesting story. While it’s important to provide factual information, this can be an opportunity to include personal stories and anecdotes to help give readers a sense of who the person was in life. Remember, an obituary is about life, not death.

Can you write your own obituary?

It is not uncommon for a person to write their own obituary. This can be a very cathartic process, being able to look back on your life and take stock of everything you have achieved. As well as a final goodbye to your loved ones, you can pass on your hopes for them and leave them with any advice or pearls of wisdom.

How to place an obituary

In New Zealand, obituaries are typically published in local newspapers, online publications and funeral home websites and in most cases you will be able to book directly with them via their website. Newspapers will usually ask for proof of the death of the person before they will publish an obituary notice.

How to write your own obituary

If writing your own obituary is something you would like to do, in the Go With Grace Death Plan tool, we have a special section for you to write one with prompts to guide you. Some people prefer this so that they can get all of the details about their life correct, and ensure that they are remembered in their own way.

An obituary is about your loved one's life and achievements, rather than their death.