How to Write an Obituary for a Teenager

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An obituary announces the death of someone and honors her life. Often obituaries are written by staff of a funeral home, but a loved one can make the obituary notice more personal and reflective of the life that was lost. Writing obituaries can be difficult if you are close to the person whose death you are writing about, and writing an obituary for a young person can be especially difficult. Here's how to get through this emotionally challenging task.

1 Discuss to include

Discuss what to include in the obituary with the deceased’s family. Get their input and make sure that they feel comfortable with what you include.

2 Start off with the teenager s full name

Start off with the teenager’s full name. If the teenager is best known by a nickname, include that as well. Many obituaries also include the person’s age.

3 Write a tasteful expression or euphemism or to state

Write a tasteful expression or euphemism to state that the teenager has died. Often obituaries use the phrase “passed away” instead of “died.” Using euphemisms when writing obituaries is common.

4 List the teenager ’ s hometown

List the teenager’s hometown, and where he was born, if it is different.

5 List the names

List the names of the teenager’s parents, grandparents and siblings. You can also include the names of other family members, such as aunts, uncles and cousins, if the family wishes to do so. Obituaries also tend to list where family members live.

6 Discuss the teenager ’ s accomplishments

Discuss the teenager’s accomplishments, hobbies, contributions to society and other important information. Include the name of the school that the teenager attended. Avoid mentioning anything negative about the teenager or her life.

7 Mention the teenager s

Mention the teenager’s cause of death if the family is comfortable with it. Most obituaries do not mention the cause of death, however.

8 Include funeral arrangement information

Include funeral arrangement information. Provide the time of the funeral and the name and location.

9 Provide donation or memorial fund information

Provide donation or memorial fund information. Family members may ask that donations be made to certain organizations, instead of sending flowers. If so, include information about making donations.

Erica Sweeney is a freelance writer and editor based in Little Rock, Ark. She has a master's in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her work has been published at, Arkansas Times, Aging Arkansas and Arkansas Business.