Help! I Have to Write An Obituary

By Angela Woosley

For quite some time, obituaries have held a special place in our culture as a unique form of writing, one that valued conciseness and precision. But as newspaper readership has declined, social media has increased our ability to share and connect with one another. It’s also thrown the “rules” of obituaries out the window. 

If you worry about how to “write right” about a person you’ve loved and lost, you are not alone! Lots of folks don’t feel confident about how to write an obituary. There’s a real sense of pressure that comes with the opportunity, isn’t there? But there’s great news: platforms like Epilogg offer ways to commemorate and honor our lost loves across multiple media and provide flexibility and choice when it comes to writing an obituary. It’s so much more than a free, online obituary.

There are two main functions of a traditional obituary:

  1. To inform the public of the death
  2. To honor and commemorate the life lived

With online communication, we can inform others of a death with the click of a button. However, the ways that we honor and commemorate lives has been changing rapidly. Formal, written death notices may not reflect the fullness of a person’s life and legacy. So how can we share with others how much our lost loves meant to us?

Well, for one thing, we can throw out the rulebook! If mom was a professional singer, why write about it when you can share videos of her instead? Why write about dad’s love of cooking when you can share his recipes instead? 

If you like, you can write a biography of the person, but it doesn’t have to conform to any rules except your own. Plus, an online memorial website like Epliogg allows you to connect with family and friends around the world, add content whenever the mood strikes you—or whenever your grief will let you. There’s no pressure, no publication deadline, and no stress. You can use our templates and prompts to create a beautiful memorial that’s as unique as the person you’re sharing with the world.

With a simple, free online platform to honor and commemorate the people we’ve loved and lost, Epilogg gives you the freedom to share a fuller picture of their legacy and more time to focus on a third function that obituaries haven’t been able to deliver yet: to connect with others and grieve with the support of your community—Because the digital age allows our grief to be shared rather than experienced alone.

About the author:  Angela Woosley is a MN-registered mortician, educator, end of life doula, and funeral celebrant.  She’s the founder of and a wonderful Epilogg advisor.