Facebook, still the most popular social media platform, offers the easiest, most effective way to connect with others during times of grief.
Nowadays, sharing news of a death on social media remains an important, even necessary, way to share personal news. You can use some tricks to do so successfully and in a way that will honor your friend or loved one.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Does Facebook Have an Obituary Feature?
- How to Post an Obituary from Another Website on Facebook
- How to Write an Obituary for a Facebook Status Update
- Facebook Obituary Examples
- Where Else Can You Post an Obituary?
In this post, we discuss how to post an obituary from another website on Facebook as well as how to write and post an obituary as a status on Facebook. In either case, of course, you must keep the dignity of the deceased person at the top of your mind.
Does Facebook Have an Obituary Feature?
You may have noticed that Facebook has tailored features to help you create posts. When you write something under, “What’s on your mind?” you have the option of adding photos and video (even live video), GIFs, raising money, hosting a Q&A, asking for recommendations, and more.
However, there is not currently a dedicated button for posting or creating an obituary. But with the tools and options listed above, it should still be fairly easy, especially if you’d like to create a modern, collaborative obituary for your loved one or post something in addition to the original obituary.
For example, you can use the “write a prompt” button to ask a question about your loved one, such as, “To honor [name] and celebrate their life, I’d like to know, what was your favorite memory with them?” Then, your friends can respond accordingly as a way of creating a digital memorial. You can even bookmark or pin the post so you can easily revisit it at a later time.
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How to Post an Obituary from Another Website on Facebook
You may come across an obituary for a friend or family member written by someone else and you may wish to share it. We'll go over how to post an obituary from another website on Facebook in a few different ways.
1. Share the post via the Facebook share button
Websites of all kinds have Facebook linking. Forum-like sites, publications, and media entities also offer easy methods of sharing their content.
You will likely have the option of sharing the obituary from the platform via a share button showing a Facebook logo. This method offers the easiest way to ensure the content transfers into a post that appears presentable, correct, and appropriate. If you do not see this option, the owner of the information does not permit sharing or the obituary platform itself does not allow instant sharing.
When you click the "share" button or Facebook icon, it should bring you to a post window that will have your timeline selected. (Keep in mind, if you run multiple Facebook accounts, check that you’re on the right one!) Next, you may have the option to add a comment, emoji, or anything about the item you link — just like any other sharing option.
Once you’ve proofread your commentary, go ahead and hit the "share" or "post" button. You likely owe it to the person who passed away to ensure your mention is dignified, positive, and grammatically correct.
2. Copy the link and create a post
You can also copy the link and share the link as a post. You do this by going up to the search bar of your browser and copying the URL. Once you click in the search bar, it should select the entire URL. If it doesn't work, you can also right-click or hit Command + A on a Mac. After this, you can hit Command + C to copy the content.
Next, enter the link into the “create a post” portion on Facebook and hit "paste." Depending on the site, the link may auto-generate a cover image and a preview of the obituary’s content. If it does, good for you! You’re closer to successfully sharing this obituary.
However, if no content generates when you paste the link, you’ll have to provide some context yourself. This doesn’t have to be a long intro necessarily; however, if you want the right people to see it, you should provide some background. Otherwise, everyone will just see a link on your timeline and no other info. You could write:
“Hi all, here is a link to the obituary of a [good friend of mine], [enter name]. It would mean a lot to me if you read about [him/her/them] and consider [donating to a cause listed/sharing your support]. Thank you, take care of yourselves, and tell someone you love them today.”
After proofreading this post and link, hit "share." Again, double-check that you post from the correct Facebook account if you run more than one. It doesn’t hurt to proofread your post one last time. A small grammar mistake isn't a huge deal, but try to avoid saying anything jarring if you can.
You can check out more of what to say on Facebook after a death in this post or in the content below.
3. Screenshot the content and share
If you prefer to show an image of your friend or loved one and how the obituary originally appears on the third-party site, you can screenshot the content.
An easy way to find out how to screenshot your device is to simply Google how to do so or ask via the “help” option. On Mac, you can also press Command + Space to search for functionalities and applications, such as screenshot helpers.
After you make your screenshot, open up Facebook to create a post. You can add this screenshot as an image. Again, you may decide to add a comment alongside the screenshot to explain that this is an obituary about someone you cared about. You may even wish to link to the obituary itself, like the option above. It’s up to you!
4. Option: Copy the text (but give attribution)
The final option for sharing an obituary on Facebook from a third-party site is by copying the text or content directly and posting it on your timeline. The biggest thing about doing so, however, (along with all of the other methods above) is to give attribution and perhaps ask permission prior to doing so.
Attribution means you give credit to the site you pulled the content from — in this, case, the site where you found the obituary. It may be a news site, a funeral home website, a church bulletin, or some other publication.
You may also want to ask the surviving family members for permission to share the obituary if you’re unsure. It’s important to respect both the deceased person and family members or closest loved ones during this time, regardless of your relationship.
How to Write an Obituary for a Facebook Status Update
Prior to diving into how to write an obituary as a status update, it may also help you to check out how to write an obituary in general.
In addition, if the deceased person has a Facebook account, it may help you to check out how to memorialize a Facebook account. This information is also good to share with the deceased person’s family, too, for example, if you’re not in direct relation.
1. Gather and fact-check information
Get the right information for the deceased person before you begin. Obituaries commonly have the same basic biodata about a person, such as full name, age at death, location where the deceased passed away, among other things.
You may or may not choose to include the cause of death. You should also discuss the deceased person’s surviving family members as well as important contributions during the deceased's lifetime. Include quotes, jokes, or other small details about the person.
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2. Find a good photo (or two, or a few)
In addition to your written obituary, you can share at least one good photo of your loved one, too. Try to keep the numbers to a minimum because the post could quickly become a photo album rather than an obituary.
3. Draft outside Facebook (recommended)
You may want to draft the obituary outside the Facebook post window. This way, you can easily share it with a loved one or friend to review prior to posting it. Also, you can save and exit out of your work as you go if you can't post it all at once.
4. Create a post
Go to Facebook and create a post. Type or paste your draft into the window and apply any additional elements. If you feel photos, emojis, or custom designs are appropriate, make it your own or in the spirit of your loved one.
Yes, you can edit posts on Facebook, unlike Twitter. However, combing over your post as finely as possible the first time will take any stress off of your final “send.” For example, if you copied text from another window, make sure you don't copy anything extra, like a to-do list or any embarrassing personal notes.
6. Post and monitor
When posting about serious things such as a death, you not only want to make space for yourself but also make yourself available once you share the information. In other words, it’s okay to not respond to comments or questions right away. Take a few days, if you need, but don’t disappear after dropping such big news.
Facebook Obituary Examples
Also consider any comments or outreach you’ll receive. It should help to check out some ideas for how to say thank you for your condolences on Facebook as well.
“James Wilson Elmhurst III passed away on Friday, March 19, at the age of 82 in Atlanta. A beloved musician, father, grandfather, and friend, he will be deeply missed by myself and the rest of our family. He is survived by myself, my wife Jane, and our children. If you feel so inclined, listen to 'Ain’t No Mountain High Enough' or some Bill Withers today. They were dad’s favorites.”
“Krystine Janelle Thompson passed away on February 27, 2021, in Boston, after a long battle with leukemia at the age of 35. A beloved friend of mine, she is also survived by her parents, David and Claire, her sister, Denise, and her dog, Bruno. Krystine served as an online tutor to children of all ages, even from a hospital bed. She will be deeply missed for her humor, bright eyes, and dimpled smile…”
“Carlos Felipe Ortiz passed away on Sunday at the age of 78 in Phoenix. For those of you who didn’t have the blessing of knowing him, Carlos was my stepfather. My stepbrother, mother, and extended family miss him dearly…”
Where Else Can You Post an Obituary?
In addition to Facebook, you may feel that you need to reach more people that knew your late loved one. There are some other options for where to post an obituary online that are also free and easy to set up.
Other common places for posting an obituary are newspapers, online memorial sites, and other online publications. You may choose to post the obituary on one type of site and then share it on Facebook or vice-versa. Some online memorial sites make the sharing process, as well as making donations in your loved one’s name, easy and seamless, for example.
You may also want to keep in mind these tips for how to find an obituary online or offline.
If you’re trying to save money for your loved one’s funeral planning, keep in mind that a newspaper obituary won’t be free. In fact, depending on the content (word count, images), obituaries can range in cost from about $200 to $1,000 or more.
However, the process for how to submit an obituary to a newspaper is fairly simple, but not quite as easy as using Facebook alone.
Be sure to ask if an online post is included and how long it will remain available on the newspaper’s website, as you can share this link on Facebook.
Online memorial site
In addition to social media sites like Facebook, there are many dedicated online memorial sites to choose from. Online memorial sites have many benefits, but be sure to discuss with your loved ones which ones are most important to you.
It may be easier to make a decision depending on whether you’d like a free platform or you’re OK with paying a small fee.
For example, online memorial sites may allow the post to stay up longer — even forever — when compared to a newspaper obituary section. Many online memorial sites also give you more control over the content, like Facebook, rather than having to work with someone else, which you and your family may appreciate.
Other social media sites
Other social media sites like Instagram and Twitter can also be a worthwhile and easy way to help your loved one’s obituary reach more people.
Like on Facebook, you can edit posts on Instagram even after you share them. If you choose to share the obituary on Twitter, remember that you cannot edit the content.
If you have a private Instagram or Twitter account, keep in mind that only your followers will be able to see your post. On Facebook, you can make the post shareable and public.
An alumni bulletin may be another way you can submit an obituary online for free. If your loved one was especially involved in his or her college, high school, or trade school, posting their obituary here will help let other classmates know of their passing and lend support.
An alumni bulletin can help you reach friends of your loved one you may not know already. Consider adding your contact information to the post, such as a personal email address, if you’d like these individuals to reach out to you to share stories about your late loved one, for example.
Church or club websites
If your late loved one was a devoted parishioner of a local church or a member of some social clubs, these are also important websites to share their obituary on. You can likely email or call the office for how to make a post request. That being said, you should only do so if the organization’s website seems up to date or if there’s a specific location for posts like this.
Connect with Care
Social media can go awry with the best of intentions. When writing or sharing obituaries on Facebook or announcing a death, always consider your audience, your timing, and, above all, the dignity of the deceased person.
If a detail doesn’t seem right to share in your loved one’s obituary, then don’t share it. You can save these conversations and reflections for private conversations with friends and family instead. In addition, if you receive comments or questions on your post that you don't feel comfortable discussing, do not feel obligated to.
Above all, obituaries should remember and honor your friends and family. Facebook obituaries should feel like nothing but a safe, effective space to do so. For more help with tough conversations or how to become more death positive, check out the rest of Cake’s blog.