Let’s begin by defining obituary. An obituary is: A notice of death, with or without a biographical sketch, often with information about memorialization services, and historically printed in a newspaper.
This leads to the next question: Who reads newspapers anymore and what is the value of an obituary today?
Regardless of the medium in which it is published, the act of writing an obituary can be an integral part of the grieving process. It is a common tradition in this country and can be a way for loved ones to formally acknowledge and recognize the deceased and his or her life accomplishments and impact.
It also serves a practical purpose with the act of publishing. By publishing the death notice many more people than would normally be personally notified to attend the funeral service are able to gain access to the information.
The format or style of an obituary can range from a very brief and factual statement of death to an elaborate narrative that pays tribute to the life of the deceased.
Regarding the publishing of obituaries there are various options. Many large cities only allow published obituaries for those deemed “significant” in some way. But smaller communities often allow any and all deaths to be published. Keep in mind that there is typically a fee for publishing an obituary. There may or may not be a fee for a short death notice. Contact your local newspaper for more information about fees and the acceptable format and length.
Back to the original question: Do funeral homes write obituaries? Yes, they certainly can. With the help of loved ones supplying some biographical information, the funeral home staff can write and submit and obituary for you, for a fee. However, it is not required to work through a funeral home in order to write and publish and obituary.Another option to consider in today’s digital age: the online obituary. Most print newspapers also offer an online version of the obituaries and there are stand-alone obituary services such as:
And many others!
These can be paid or free, so do a little research before choosing the best option for you.