Obituary for a Friend: What to Include

What to Say When Speaking at a Funeral

When your friend has passed on, you might find yourself responsible to write their obituary. This can be stressful but you will need to do so in order to honor their memory. You will also need to notify their loved ones about the demise. Often, you might be entrusted with this challenging task because you shared a close relationship with the deceased.

You must, however, ask around in order to gather information about your friend’s history. Also inquire about your friend’s family relations, in case you are not aware of this.


Why do you need to write an obituary for a friend? Go here to see in-depth advice.


We all come from different walks of life, and meet people along the way. We end up making good friendships that we wish can last forever. Unfortunately, when death comes knocking, we have no protection against it and so we cannot avoid it.

Well, when you lose a dear friend, it is going to the heartbreaking but then again you have the chance to honor their fond memories. Below are some of the reasons why you might consider writing an obituary for your friend:

To notify the public about his death

Whether or not you know about your friend’s family, an obituary is important as it notifies the public and people who may know the deceased of their death. In fact, this is the immediate use of an obituary as it aims at announcing the death of the deceased.

Now, it can get even more challenging when you do not know any family relations of your friend and you have to do this alone.

By writing and publishing an obituary, you will be able to reach out to people. Well, your friend’s family might also find out about his passing away through the obituary. Therefore, we cannot underestimate the importance of writing an obituary.


Obituary for a Friend

To pay tribute to the deceased

An obituary will also give you an opportunity to express your feelings of loss. When a friend passes away, of course, it is sad and you are going to be very devastated about it. However, instead of bottling all these emotions inside, you can take up the role of doing the obituary for him. This way, you can be able to pay tribute to him. You can do this by telling the public about how great your friend was.

Obituaries are a little different from eulogies but can also be used to pay tribute. For instance, you can share one of your best memories with the deceased. In most cases, you will be able to paint a picture of the deceased in the audience’s mind, as well as how helpful they were to society.

To keep a record for his bloodline

Publishing an obituary is a form of keeping a record. Well, in the case you never got to meet your friend’s family, writing an obituary will not only notify them. It is also going to assist his future generations can be able to identify him.

Well, in most cases, when people are looking to learn about their bloodline history, they will most often look into newspapers. They may as well as check funeral home websites for the obituaries.

This is the fastest method of getting to their families.

To provide funeral details

In addition to announcing the death of your beloved friend, an obituary will also contain the details of the funeral service. Even you were given the role of writing the obituary by your friend’s family, you will all need the community and friend’s support. This is especially with funeral planning and also the entire service. Therefore, an obituary will help you reach as many people as possible and thus maximize the support system.


What to include in an obituary for a friend


Once you take up the task of preparing an obituary for your friend, it is important that you know what to include. Many are times that you will miss a few details. This is because you might be going through hardships trying to accept your loss. However, do not despair as we are going to guide you on the details you should not leave out in the obituary for your friend.

You should write the obituary in the following chronological order:


The introduction of an obituary for your friend should include the personal details of your friend. My assumption is that you had a close relationship with your friend and thus you are the one taking care of it. Therefore, include the name of the deceased, age and place of residence beforehand. This way, people will be able to relate as to who you are talking about.

In addition to the above, you can also go ahead and mention the place of work as well as the cause of death. However, these are just but optional as you do not have to include them in the introduction. Do not forget to include the date of death.

Short bio

after introducing the deceased and announcing his unfortunate death, you can now give a brief description of him. These might include details like place of birth as well as education. In case, you do not know any of this information, you can consult his family about it. They will be able to give you a full account of the deceased’s early life.

Well, if you are writing an obituary for your best friend, you must have the details of your friend’s accomplishments that you should also include. Find out if he was a volunteer in college or basically in the community. You should include the most important accomplishments in the obituary as a way to commemorate his contribution to society.

In addition, do not forget to mention any awards that he may have won while still alive. As much as you want to announce his death, you may also want to celebrate your friend’s life and achievements. Ensure that you bring out his personality in the obituary.


Obituary for a Friend

Surviving family

You should also include the names of the surviving immediate family of the deceased in his obituary. Well, this will include the name of spouse, surviving children, and grandchildren. You should also be able to include the names of your friend’s parents.

In the case where the deceased has a large family, you may not be able to include everyone’s name. You can simply ensure that you have mentioned the number of family members. For instance, if your friend had seven brothers, you might not be able to write their names.

Instead, just indicate that he had been survived by a certain number of siblings or even grandchildren. This is especially when you are writing an obituary for the local newspaper where you will be charged per word. Once again, you may consult the deceased’s family in order to identify those to be included in the obituary. Remember that you will have to keep collaborating with the family of the deceased in order to come up with a comprehensive obituary.

Funeral details

You should also have the funeral details ready before actually publishing an obituary for your friend. These might include the place, time and date of the funeral services. Once again, upon losing a loved one, you will need as much support as you can get from the entire community. Therefore, it is important that they know where you are holding the funeral service.

In the event your friend was a little religious, you and the family might consider holding a memorial or requiem ceremony. This is where you celebrate the deceased’s life with the community and also his family. If so, do not forget to mention the date and venue of the respective services. In addition, you can invite people to send flowers and condolences to his address. You may also invite people for the wake, which is optional.

Ensure that the obituary provides information about the funeral service before submitting it.

Special thanks

You may also include a short section giving thanks to the people that were important to the deceased. For instance, if your friend had been ill, you can thank the hospital. You can also send a special message to the individual who cared for them before the unfortunate demise.

This shows your appreciation to the people who were there for your friend. After all, you will need so much emotional support as you go through this tough time.

A recent photo

You cannot forget to submit a recent photo of the deceased in the obituary. How else will people recognize them while it could be anyone with that name? Furthermore, the photo of the deceased will be the first thing the readers will see when they come across the obituary in a paper.

However, ensure that the photo is recent as opposed to an old photo. This way, people will be able to recognize him as soon as they lay their eyes on the obituary. Remember that the primary focus of an obituary is to announce the death of your friend.


Obituary for a Friend

Where to submit an obituary for a friend


Once you come up with the perfect obituary for your friend, it is now time to publish the latter. With modern technological advancement, you will have various choices on where to do so. Generally, you can publish the obituary either with the local newspaper or simply online. However, these two methods will have their pros as well as cons. Let us look at some of the facts that you should be aware of when you are choosing the best platform to publish the obituary:

Newspaper Obituary

This has been the most preferred platform to publish and release an obituary. This is because of its wide range of audience, which means that the latter will reach many people. Most people will briefly look at the obituary pages in the paper as compared to those who will go online looking for obituaries. Actually, it would be a little weird for someone to go looking for obituaries online.

Some of the advantages for print obituaries may include;

It will reach all types of audiences. By printing an obituary with the local newspaper, you will be able to reach even the older generation. These people may not have so much knowledge in terms of technology.

Well, if you are looking to have your friend’s family get to learn about the unfortunate demise, consider the older people. For instance, his grandparents or even parents may not be able to access it online.

No negative comments. Unlike online obituaries, the newspaper does not leave any room for commentaries from the public. This means that you will be safe from trolls that might actually affect the family and friends of the deceased.

You only need to pay once. It can be a little expensive to have the newspaper print an obituary. However, it guarantees that the latter will remain in history forever. Well, this means that even the future generation of the deceased will be able to learn about their bloodline many years from now. And you will only have to pay a one-off charge to keep it in history forever.

Digital obituaries

Alternatively, you can choose to go for digital obituaries. This is where you search for a website offering these services, of which you will also have to pay. Most funeral homes will provide some space for you to submit the obituary. In the current technological advancement, most people are using digital platforms to publish obituaries. Therefore, you can publish the obituary for a friend there and share it with loved ones.

Here are some of the advantages of using digital obituaries over the newspaper;

They allow family and friends to share the fondest memories of their loved ones. Sharing an obituary for a friend online offers an opportunity for friends and family to share their memories. This is because it has a commentary section whereby you can receive feedback from people.

You have the freedom to include whatever you want; while submitting an obituary online, you will be the one to do it. Now, you will have the freedom to create an obituary of your own choice because there is no limitation of the number of words to include as well as the photos.

Online obituaries are shareable. With billions of people using social media platforms, it is easy when you share an obituary for a friend online. This way, you will reach a large audience as compared to the print obituaries. In addition, once an obituary is online, it is shareable to the social media platforms and you can also email it to other people directly.


When you are publishing an obituary with a newspaper, the first disadvantage is that it is pretty expensive. Digital obituaries will cost you less than the print ones. You can actually even find sites where you can post it for free. However, this should not be the reason you go for the digital type of obituary.

In fact, when you want to keep it going for a long time, the company will keep demanding more cash to maintain the latter. Although it will not cost you much as a one-off fee, you might find yourself paying every other month. Else, they will bring the obituary down and thus erase the history of the deceased from public access forever.

Furthermore, the company might close down its websites and you will never have the obituary ever again. Another shortcoming for the digital form of the obituary is that you will be opening doors for commentaries. For instance, if you share a heartfelt obituary for a friend on social media, chances are that so many people will see it. It can lead to negative comments from strangers which can be harsh during this difficult time.

In addition, digital obituaries are visually appealing to the newspaper. This is because you have total control over what to include and what not to include. You can even be able to include more than one photo of the deceased.

Publishing the Obituary

Once you have decided on the platform to use, it is now time to publish it. You will have to make a list of the newspapers to consider, that is if you want a print obituary. Then call the newspapers to inquire about the obituary publishing process and also cost. This way, you will be able to make a choice based on your preference. Ensure that you have proofread the obituary before actually submitting it.

If you are going for the digital obituary, then you have to do your research. Go online and research the best sites to use for the obituary. Once again, select your preferred site and evaluate the options that you have. For instance, consider the duration that the website will host the obituary. In most cases, the website will provide a template that you can fill in your prepared obituary. Customize your text and include the photos you want before publishing the latter.




In conclusion, when you have the task of creating an obituary for a friend, you have been entrusted to not only notify people of his passing away but also celebrate him. Ask around his family in order to include all the necessary details. Ensure that you have captured the above-discussed details before submitting the obituary.

If you choose to go with the print obituary, then do your research and use the most popular paper. Include as many details as you possibly can in order to help the audience identify the deceased. You can actually publish the obituary both online and print in order to maximize your audience.


Michael Grover

Following the death of my Mother, I decided to make this website. I found it difficult at the time to express the correct words to say at the service. However, I stumbled across an immediate download (available here) that enabled me to find truly memorable words.

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