How to Avoid Mistakes When Writing an Obituary

At Krause Funeral Home, our experienced staff members read a lot of obituaries and understand why many people in Milwaukee, Brookfield, and New Berlin struggle when writing an obituary for someone they love so we thought we’d offer our advice.


Focus on your loved one.

This sounds obvious, but when writing an obituary, it’s easy to slip into sharing your own perspective and feelings rather than focusing on your loved one. Every few sentences you write, check with yourself about the point of view to ensure it’s in keeping with the way you wish others to perceive your loved one’s life. When in doubt, show what you’ve written to a friend or family member who knew your loved one to get their opinion.


Cut out any overused phrases.

There are lots of clichés people use when someone dies. Is there a way to express yourself more originally and personally? A good tip to capture how you really feel is to record yourself talking about your loved one or have someone transcribe as you speak. Then review that material to come up with the wording to include. Facing a blank document is intimidating; talking about a loved one comes more naturally to most.


Be sure to include the necessary service information.

Many people include a paragraph at the end of the obituary detailing the memorial service, location, time, etc. This is helpful for those reading the obituary and planning to attend the service. You might even consider putting this section in a larger font or in bold letters so that it stands out from the rest of the text.


Ask a trusted friend or family member to read the obituary before you submit it.

The days after a loved one dies are emotional in ways that are expected and unexpected. Whether writing comes naturally to you or you struggle to express yourself on paper, asking for support is important. Do you have a friend who knew your loved one well? Someone who is talented with the written word? Ask for help in putting together and editing the obituary. You may be surprised how someone else’s input can help during a difficult time.



If you need help honoring your loved one with funeral, burial, or cremation services, contact our dedicated team of planning experts. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and offer grief support if needed.