Elements of a Thoughtful Funeral Notice

By: Ben Nystrom

Funeral notices are necessary means of letting friends and family know about the death of a loved one. Traditionally, these letters were sent out by family members or the funeral service provider in the mail to notify others of the specifics of the funeral. Over time, the sending of these notices has taken varying forms as a way to get information to others quickly. Regardless of how the notice is delivered, a funeral notice should include some basic but useful information to help make the memorial service of the loved one memorable.

Basic Details
The purpose of a funeral notice, first and foremost, is to notify the recipient that a loved one has passed away. The notice should include the full name of the person who has died. If the individual went by a nickname or shortened name, you may want to include that too. It should include the date and time of the funeral and where it will be held. If a memorial service or reception is also being planned, the details of that should also be included.

Helpful Local Information
Often times those from out of town may benefit from additional information so that they can make plans to attend the funeral service. The funeral notice is a great way to share information about hotels and restaurants. You can also provide useful phone numbers like the number of the funeral home or cemetery, and the number of a primary point of contact within the family to help answer questions.

Providing a brief obituary in the funeral notice is often very helpful. You can choose to use the same obituary in the funeral notice that you may use in the newspaper or memorial web site or you may choose to include a more abbreviated version for the notice. It is up to the family. The obituary should include biographical information about the deceased – where they were born, when the passed on, their relatives, where they went to school, career achievements, community activities in which they participated. Longer versions may also include favorite activities, their likes and their goals. Where possible, you may want to ask another family member to help write the obituary to help ensure that it is a fitting and accurate tribute.

Honor The Deceased
The funeral notice is a good place to start to honor and remember a loved one in a way they would have wanted. Some families include a favorite poem, song lyric, or passage of scripture in a funeral notice to evoke who the deceased was and how much they are missed. Photos of the deceased can also be thoughtful additions. Try to find something respectful as well as uplifting. People will be sad enough upon hearing of the death; there's no need to add to it with a depressing funeral notice.

When to Send the Notice
Families should not feel rushed to send the funeral notice. When all the general funeral arrangements have been worked through and a funeral director or funeral home can give you the information you need, then send the notice. Just remember to give those that may want to come to the service from out-of-town enough notice to make the necessary travel arrangements. Usually the details of the service can be worked through fairly quickly with the help of friends and services.

A tasteful funeral notice is an appropriate way to pay your respects to the deceased as well as allow others to do the same.

~Ben Nystrom

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Begin honoring the life of a loved one by first sending a thoughtful funeral notice online through Valley of Life. In addition to our free funeral notice service, families can create online memorials to celebrate a loved one forever online.

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