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How to Write an Obituary or Tribute

How to write an obituaryMake arrangements to print the obituary
Before you begin writing your obituary, you should make sure that the obituary will be published in the local paper and you have all the information.

Many funeral homes offer a printed obituary in the newspaper as part of the funeral package.  Just ask.

It is absolutely OK if you would like to write the obituary and here is more helpful information and what you need to know:

The cost
Most papers charge by the inch, but the word count can vary based on the paper’s font and column width.  You should ask how many words are in an inch or how they calculate cost.

The deadline
Most papers have a 4 or 5 p.m. deadline for obituaries, though some make exceptions because it’s a delicate subject.

The date it will be published
You’ll want the obituary to be printed as soon as possible so you can not only announce the death in a timely manner, but also let everyone know where and when the funeral will take place.

Write down the basic information about your loved one
Before you write your obituary, you should write down some basic information about the person, so you know what you’ll have to include once you start putting the facts in sentence form.

Here is some basic information to include in almost any obituary:

  • First and last name
  • Age
  • Birthdate
  • Residence (city and state)
  • Partner’s name
  • When and where the funeral, viewing, wake, or memorial service will take place

(If you don’t know when the funeral will take place, you can write the name of the funeral home so people can contact the home for more information. If you plan on running the obituary more than once, you can include this information the next time if you know it then.)

Write down some additional information
After you’ve written down the basics, you can write down some additional information that provides more insight into who they were as an individual. Here are some additional details you may want to include:

  • The names and residences of the person’s children.
  • The names of the person’s grandchildren. (If there are many grandchildren, you can say how many there are instead of listing all of their names.)
  • The names of the person’s loved ones. (If the loved ones are deceased, you can say that the person you’re writing about is “the son of the late John Smith.”)
  • Feel free to include some information about the person’s education or information about the person’s profession/place of work.
  • You can mention the person’s hobbies. If the person loved fishing, then write it down.
  • The birthplace of the deceased.
  • Some information or anecdotes that show the person’s quirks or personality traits.

Memorial Giving       
After the loss of a loved one, we understand that no gesture is significant enough to recognize how special that person was to you.

As caregivers, family, friends and colleagues, Lifesong Hospice & Palliative Care understands your desire to celebrate and honor the legacy of your loved one.  Choosing a charity is an important part of the process; the charity should be one that would have been meaningful to your loved one.

We recognize that memorial giving is an expression of love.  If you select Lifesong Foundation as your charity, please know that we have developed the Memories are Timeless memorial program to recognize your loved one and your family’s generosity.

With this memorial program, you have the opportunity to honor a special person or make a memorial donation that will help make a difference in the lives of other hospice patients and their families. A gift or memorial donation is a fitting tribute to someone special. Your support helps Lifesong provide a wide range of programs, such as fulfilling wishes to terminally ill patients and their families who do not have the financial means, legacy projects, community education and so much more.

In your admission package, you will find memorial envelopes.  They are also available by asking one of the members of our care team.

Donations can be made in memory of your loved one, a Lifesong & Palliative Care employee or volunteer.

When a gift has been named in a person’s honor, the foundation will automatically notify them. The gift amount will stay confidential.

Ways to Give:
Donations can be mailed to the address below, or dropped off at our admissions desk.

Lifesong Hospice & Palliative Care
3880 TecPort Drive
Suite 2
Harrisburg, PA 17111

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Lifesong Hospice & Palliative Care
3880 TecPort Drive
Suite 2
Harrisburg, PA 17111
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Local: 717-585-6687
Toll Free: 855-411-7722