Who Is Responsible for Writing Obituaries After Death?

Monday, July 17, 2023

Obituaries serve as a final tribute, capturing the essence of a person's life and commemorating their journey on this earth. These heartfelt accounts offer a glimpse into the departed's achievements, character, and impact.

Hundreds of thousands of obituaries are published every year, with that number only increasing in recent years

But who bears the responsibility of crafting these poignant narratives? The answer isn't always so clear. Read on, and we'll walk you through the basics of writing obituaries. 

Family Members of the Deceased

The primary responsibility for writing obituaries often rests with family members. When a person passes away, the assumed responsibility for obituary writing often falls on the family.

There is, of course, a good reason for this. 

The immediate family, such as spouses, children, or siblings, understands the life and experiences of the deceased. They can provide personal anecdotes, insights, and details that reflect the person's essence.

Family members can honor their loved one's accomplishments, passions, and relationships. They can note their contributions to society. All of this can help to create a meaningful and authentic tribute.

However, it's important to note that the family might not always be able to write an obituary. They may be too caught up in grieving to take on the task or otherwise occupied with the many other responsibilities of this kind of loss.

There also may be no surviving family members to write the piece, depending on the familial situation of the deceased. 

Close Friends and Acquaintances 

Close friends and acquaintances also play a vital role in writing obituaries.

These individuals possess unique perspectives on the deceased. Of course, they've shared memorable moments, experiences, and friendships with them.

They can contribute personal stories, anecdotes, and memories outside the family's awareness.

By incorporating these perspectives? Friends and close acquaintances add depth and richness to the obituary. It may then capture a more comprehensive picture of the person's life.

Professional Writers

While family and friends are often the primary authors, there are situations where professional obituary writers are engaged to assist in crafting the tribute.

Funeral homes or newspapers may offer this service to families who find it challenging to write the obituary themselves. This might be due to grief, time constraints, or lack of writing experience.

Professional obituary writers possess the skills to capture the essence of a person's life elegantly. They can draw out key details and emotions. They collaborate with the family, gathering information and incorporating personal insights. All of this adds up to create a well-crafted obituary.

Funeral Home Staff

In some cases? Funeral home staff members may take on the responsibility of writing obituaries.

They have experience in organizing funeral services and dealing with grieving families. This makes them well-equipped to compile the necessary details for an obituary.

Funeral home staff can work closely with the family to gather essential information and ensure that the obituary accurately reflects the deceased's life and legacy.

Who Is Responsible for Writing Obituaries?

Writing obituaries is a big task after the loss of a loved one. There's no hard and fast rule about who should be writing them.

While the obituary writer will often be a family member, the above information can help expand the possibilities of obituary writing. 

Have more questions about how to write an obituary? Looking for more help in the wake of profound loss? Give us a call anytime for more.

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