The obituary writer must ensure that all names are written accurately and that they are included in the final published narrative. (Shutterstock) Deciding who to include in a deceased person's life biography can be a difficult decision. If your ancestor had a reputation for being difficult, maybe you should leave them out.
It is acceptable to omit names if they do not affect the story being told or if it is not possible to identify them. For example, if the deceased was famous under another name then it would be inappropriate to print their birth name in an obituary. However, if their family wants this information made available then it should be given with as much detail as possible.
It is also acceptable to use initials instead of last names for people whose families did not use surnames. For example, A.B. could be abbreviated to Anjou Barry or Aubrey Balfour.
Finally, if a relative's identity is not known but they have a strong suspicion about what it might be then it is acceptable to include them in the obituary under the pseudonym "John Doe".
After an obit has been published, it is often reprinted in local newspapers. As such, it is important to make sure that the names are spelled correctly on the reprint so that they are found by relatives searching for them online.
Why would someone die without an obituary? You may not have any family or close friends, therefore you may not have someone to write to. If you, the dead, do not want one, your family and friends should respect your preferences. Sometimes people feel that having an obituary will prevent being forgotten, but that is not true. Your name and memory will remain in our mind forever.
The lack of an obituary does not mean that you were alive without fame or honor. It just means that no one made a notice of your death. In old times, when newspapers did not exist, it was usual for people to write their own obituaries. These notes were often published at the end of annual chronicles or other lists of notable deaths.
Today, thanks to computers, obituaries are written by machines. They are generated based on information found on websites and other sources. These articles are then published on the Internet for all to read.
Obituaries make special mention of people who died recently or unknown people who deserve to be remembered. They are also used as guidebooks to find out more about important events in history. For example, if you search for "obituary of Lincoln," many different stories about him will appear. One story is used to remember him, while others are simply there for interest.
Don't write the obituary in the first person or use terms like "the family of Joe Friend announces," since an obituary is all about the person who died, not the person or family members who write it. Maintain consistency in how you list those who survived the deceased, whichever you chose to write it. For example, if your friend died in an accident and nobody else was hurt, his or her friends would write an obituary for them that simply said "Joe Friend died." If there were other people involved, they would be listed under Deaths.
If you are writing an obituary for someone who was very young when they died, try not to use too many big words or talk about their future accomplishments because they have gone forever. Write something simple and clear instead.
Obituaries tend to be short pieces so don't worry about making it long. However, if you want to include more information about the deceased person then go ahead. The more you know about the person, the better able you will be to write an interesting and informative piece.
After you have written the obituary, you need to publish it. This can be done in a number of ways such as posting it on a website, sending out notices, etc. When publishing your obituary be sure to get permission from any relatives mentioned in the article before doing so. Otherwise, you could be sued by them for defamation of character!
If you're writing an obituary, be sure to include the following information: