The circumstances of someone’s life and death are not always easy to talk about. Especially in an obituary that could be the only article ever written about someone, and used for generations to come for genealogical purposes. What do you say?

What is an Obituary?

An obituary is a notice that announces the death of someone with a description of the person’s life and list of family members. The obituary is often written by the funeral home or mortuary, but many people choose to write an obituary for their loved one that is published in the newspaper and included in the funeral program.

An Obituary is Not Where You Reveal Family Secrets

Writing an obituary brings up many questions about the deceased, the way they lived and the way they died.; If a person writes his or her own obituary, these questions are not an issue.; But what if there are certain circumstances that make people uncomfortable, or are family secrets, how do you deal with that?; The appropriate answer is an obituary is not the forum for airing your views of the deceased, nor is it a place to reveal long held family secrets.; Those are best left to conversations, letters and counseling. Find out how to write an obituary at

But What About Certain Delicate Issues?

If you are not sure what to do, like in the case of a traumatic death or if the person had a particularly difficult or unacceptable lifestyle, the best thing to do is to ask the people involved, no matter how hard it may seem.; Some delicate issues are:

Cause of Death
Suicide or Murder
Surviving Family
Marriage or relationships

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