An obituary is an official announcement of someone's death. Obituaries are usually posted in the newspaper and will include a summary of a person's accomplishments as well as their place of birth, names of their surviving relatives, former occupation, birthplace, age, previous maiden names, religious and community affiliations as well as favorite hobbies. It may also include a brief statement of the nature or cause of death. The information posted in an obituary is more than a death notice, however. For people wanting to know more about their family tree, obituaries can be a helpful resource to trace their history and genealogy that would otherwise be difficult.
Obituaries can take up a whole section of a newspaper or be very brief. Normally, obituaries are written by family members in memory of the death of their loved ones and is often a way of paying their last respects to them. Aside from the information that past relatives may have written or placed within an old family Bible, obituaries may serve as the only link to trace former and current spouses, siblings, cousins, children, grandchildren, parents or grandparents related to the deceased. Obituaries may also reveal the name of the minister, the hospital where the death took place, the coroner's records and/or the location of the cemetery or church where the deceased was buried. With the help of modern technology, obituaries are now being posted online to support the family during their time of grief.
Many families have seen how posting an obituary online can be beneficial. One of the main benefits of online obituaries is that it can include a guest book that allows family, friends or acquaintances to leave their comments or condolences on a continual basis. This allows those that knew the deceased to receive support through their grief and also share their fond memories of their loved one.
Writing about grief is one way that that all involved can go through the healing process when visiting online obituaries and may prove to be more therapeutic then just reading printed messages posted in the newspaper. In addition to connecting and sharing their thoughts about their loved one, online obituaries can notify those who are interested of the time and place the memorial or funeral service will take place. If family members wish, they can choose an online website that can create permanent obituaries as a tribute to the deceased.
Death is never an easy subject. However, obituaries can be used as a therapeutic measure to get through the grieving process. Obituaries are often a key factor in genealogists and family members alike being able to trace further back in their family history. Although printed obituaries are still the traditional way of posting death notices, online obituaries use technology to allow those who knew the deceased to leave messages of condolences.
Online obituaries can be formatted to include all relevant information about the deceased person as well as describe their special qualities, achievements and the impact they may have made on their local community and on society while they were alive. Online obituaries may even help family members connect with new relatives that may have previously been unable to be contacted.