Here are questions, answers, and general information about obituaries.

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Obituary is dedicated to providing services related to advance directives prior to one's death, including our MyFuneral™ service, which allows people to specify in advance their funeral wishes and preferences for an obituary.  These wishes will be communicated to a personal "Keyholder®", chosen by the member, when the time is right.  Below are some questions and answers regarding obituaries.

What exactly is an obituary?

Obituaries vary from the very classic summation of a person's life, including just the simple facts in chronological order, but could equally be a poetic celebration of an individual's contribution to everyone's life around them.  An obituary is usually written in paragraph form and will typically chart a person's life, including the place and date of birth, education and professional experience.

Most obituaries appear as a newspaper obituary in a local or national newspaper.  However, there are also online obituaries available, such as the MyLife and MyMemorials services at

How is an obituary written?

You can either write the obituary yourself, or you can appoint somebody else to write it.  If it is written by somebody else, it will usually be a tribute to how you impacted the lives of your friends and loved ones.  It will celebrate your life and mourn your passing.  If it is written by yourself, you can include an account of your life, paying tribute to those who have touched you.  You can write whatever is important to you, but there may be restrictions on the length of the obituary based on the publication that you choose.  The obituary should be published a few days before the memorial service as it should include details of the time and location of the service and any donations that may be made.

If you need inspiration for your obituary, take a look at obituaries online or in national newspapers like the New York Times, the Times of London or the Globe and Mail.

What will be included in my obituary?

An obituary typically includes the following sections in order:

  • An announcement, including the deceased's name, date and location of death and possibly the cause of death.  If you do not want this to be included, and you have chosen somebody else other than yourself to write the obituary, state here that you would not like the cause of death to be included.
  • Biographical information, including birthplace, education, profession, hobbies together with accomplishments and awards.
  • Survivor information, including spouse, parents and children and any other close friends and relatives.
  • If written by an appointed person, they should include any details of the funeral service including the time and location.
  • You can also state that contributions may be made to an organization of your choice rather than sending flowers.

Where should the obituary be published?

This is a personal decision, but you should consider sending the obituary to newspapers in other cities where you have lived or grown up.  You can also make use of the MyLife and MyMemorials services at to publish a permanent obituary and memorial.

What is the cost of an obituary?

It may be worth considering that if you are choosing to have the obituary published in one or a number of newspapers, most newspapers charge by the word or by the line.  This may influence the length of your tribute.

How do I specify what I would like in my own obituary?

The MyFuneral™ wizard here at includes questions regarding where you would like your obituary to be published, and who you would like to create this obituary.  You can even write your complete obituary yourself, or just specify points that you would like to be included.  Your wishes will be communicated to a personal "Keyholder®", chosen by yourself, when the time is right.

You may feel that writing your own obituary is a rather macabre task, however, it is often overlooked as a part of funeral pre-planning.  By taking care of it yourself, you relieve a loved one of another difficult task imposed on them at a distressing time.  By writing it yourself, you can stamp your personality on the celebration of your life.

How do I create an online obituary?

You can create your own personal permanent online tribute at using the MyLife service.  This will be a permanent online obituary which will celebrate your life for a specified number of years, or even until the end of time if you so choose, thus providing you with a form of immortality on the Internet.  This web page will become part of our database archive which your family or the public could search and view for years to come.

You can also use the MyMemorials services at to create an online memorial for a friend or loved one that has passed away.  Include photos, thoughts, memories, accomplishments, or anything else you'd like them to be remembered by.

These are incredible ways to create a lasting memorial and tribute to a person's life.   An opportunity for future generations to read, see, hear and learn about how they lived and how important they were to their family, to their friends, and to their community.

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