What Is The Difference Between A Death Notice & An Obituary?

By: Alterna Cremation
Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Two of the most common methods of notifying the public of someone’s passing are a death notice and an obituary. Both are important announcements that can honour your loved ones and let others know about their passing, but they are different in some key ways. While you may ultimately opt to have both done, understanding what sets each one apart is key when making tough decisions. 

 

If you are dealing with the paperwork after a loved one’s passing, here is what you need to know about a death notice and an obituary. 

 

What is a Death Notice?  

A death notice is simply an announcement in the newspaper about someone’s passing and the logistical details of their funeral or memorial service. It is often very short and to the point, just a few lines long. It is a notice to people in the community that someone has passed if they would like to honour them by coming to the funeral. 

 

Death notices do not include any details about the person’s life as you would find in a biography or an obituary. There is no biography or summary about their accomplishments or their loved ones they left behind. It is simply what the name implies – a notice that someone has passed and a brief summary of how friends and family members can pay their respects.

 

Additionally, it may include details about where donations can be made in the person’s honour. 

 

What is an Obituary? 

On the other hand, an obituary is a more in-depth piece that provides a short biography of the person who passed. This might be written by a close friend or family member. Alternatively, a member of the newspaper staff may also write this from details provided by the family. This is where you can dive into more detail about who your loved one was, their accomplishments, and even their family members that were left behind. It paints a beautiful picture of who they were while on this earth among us. 

 

Many families take a long time to perfect the obituary. It is an important aspect of letting others know that your loved one has passed away and it honours your loved one in a unique way. It can also include all of the same pertinent details found in the death notice including memorial or funeral service times and locations. 

 

Whether you choose to write the obituary yourself or to allow newspaper staff to spin the information you provide, this is a great way to summarize the most important aspects of your loved one’s life.

 

Need Help with Paperwork? 

Many families feel positively overwhelmed by all of the details surrounding death. Coming up with the death notice and obituary can feel complex at times. Alterna Cremation can help you sort out all the details concerning your loved one’s passing. Contact us today with any questions you might have regarding these two documents.

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