What is an Obituary?

Whether you are to pick up a newspaper from your local newsstand or you view an online newspaper edition it is likely that you will see an obituary section. The obituary section of a newspaper is used to inform the public when an individual has passed on. Since obituaries are used to inform the public of an individual’s passing they are extremely important. Whether the time is now or later in the future, it is likely that a time will come when you will have to prepare an obituary.

Obituaries are used inform the public, but their main goal is to reach current and former friends, family members, and coworkers. This is why obituaries are often placed in multiple newspapers. An obituary is likely to appear in the local newspaper where the deceased most recently lived, but it may also appear in their hometown newspaper or other locations where the previously lived.

In addition to informing the public of a person’s death, obituaries are also used to inform the public of any impending funeral services. If a funeral service will be private or one will not be held, many times an obituary will mention donations. Many obituaries request that readers make a donation to an existing charity or one that was recently developed in the name of the deceased. These donations are optional, but they are a great way for people to express their condolences when they cannot make it to a service or one is not being held.

Another reason why obituaries are important is because they give individuals, who may have never known the person who passed away, a small glimpse into their life. An obituary is likely to include a small biography detailing the person’s life. It is common for previous jobs, volunteer work, and awards to be listed in an obituary.

Obituaries are also used to list the family members that are still remaining. This feature allows individuals to determine if they know a relative of someone who has recently passed away. If the deceased had any children or grandchildren it is likely that their names will be listed in an obituary. Additional family members that may be included in an obituary are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Obituaries are most commonly prepared after a death; however, there are many individuals who prepare their own obituary before they pass away. Preparing your own obituary may be a difficult thing to do, but it is often beneficial to many family members. Death brings sadness, sorrow, and confusion. At this tragic time it is possible that family members may be unable to recall important information and that is why the early preparation of obituaries is increasing in popularity.

When a person passes away word of mouth is used to spread the news; however, not everyone hears that news. Obituaries, whether they are in print or online, help to keep the public aware of what may be happening with their friends and their family.