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Everything You Need to Know About Obituary – Definition, Facts and Purpose

An obituary offers way more than just a few details of a person, who has died recently. It gives a crisp glimpse into the life of the deceased individual. Understanding what obituaries are, can help you write one for your loved one, pre-write for yourself, or recognize one in newspapers. Basically, an obituary in USA or elsewhere is a short overview of a deceased person’s life events and mileposts. 

Obituary: Definition

An obituary in Canada is a formal announcement that a person has passed away. It is usually printed in newspapers or posted online. In general, an obituary consists of biographical information of the deceased, a list of their surviving family members, hobbies, and achievements – along with information about visitation, a funeral service, or memorial service. 

Obituary: Origin 

The term “obituary” originated from the Latin word “obitus,” which means to move toward one’s death. “Obit” is an old French word, which roughly translates to fall or to die from. The suffix “-ary” generally means connected or belonging to. 

Obituary vs. Death Notice

An obituary and death notice share a few similarities, but they are some key differences. Firstly, obituaries are usually longer than death notices, include biographical information, and don’t require to be printed after a person’s death. Whereas, a death notice is shorter, includes facts –without including extensive biographical details – and is generally used to creditors and beneficiaries of assets. A death notice can be placed with either classifieds or obituaries. 

Obituary vs. Eulogy

Usually published in the newspaper or online, obituaries mention details of a deceased person’s major life events, achievements, hobbies, and family members as well as information about visitation, funeral, and/or memorial. An obituary in BC, Canada notifies a person’s death to their community, whereas a eulogy is basically a speech delivered at a memorial or funeral. The latter offers a chance to share special memories with the deceased individual publically, and states noteworthy relationships in a more extensive manner than an obituary. 

Obituary vs. Elegy

Unlike an obituary – which is a formal announcement of a person’s death to the public – an elegy is a song or poem crafted and performed to express sorrow and honor the deceased individual.

Purpose of an Obituary

The primary purpose of publishing an obituary is to honor a person who has died and to notify their community of their death. An obituary may also include information about the funeral, memorial, and/or visitation. It be printed in local newspapers, online, or even in a national daily, particularly if the deceased person was quite famous. 

Writing an Obituary

Regardless of who you are writing for, you should keep a few things in mind while preparing an obituary in Ontario, Canada. A step-by-step format works best and it should include:

  • Death announcement
  • Summary of their remarkable life moments and achievements
  • A list of surviving family members – includes spouse, children, parents, extended family and even pets
  • Details of funeral, memorial, and visitation
  • A photograph of the person (optional)

Reason to Publish an Obituary

An obituary is published to formally announce the death of a person to the community they lived in. It also helps communicate funeral, memorial, and/or visitation information that may be of interest to the public. It further creates a public record of the deceased individual’s accomplishments, traits, hobbies, and surviving family members, among several other things. 

Arranging an Obituary

Obituaries in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada or anywhere else can be arranged in several ways, depending on where you want it to be published. You can arrange an obituary through a local obituary website, by contacting a local newspaper, or getting in touch with the funeral director. 

Searching for an ObituaryObituaries in Montreal can be searched freely. To find a specific obituary, you can make use of a genealogy website, search for death notices in a local newspaper, google the deceased person’s complete name, or rummage through the newspaper records at a local library. Finding an old obituary may take a little extra time, but with some effort, you can get what you’re searching for.

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