When a loved one dies, it’s important to keep that person’s memory alive. One of the best ways to do this is by publishing an obituary.
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An obituary is a death notice generally published in a newspaper and sometimes online. It includes biographical details about the deceased and usually includes any details about an upcoming service. Obituaries help to establish a lasting record of a person’s life.
It can be especially difficult to figure out how to write a child’s obituary, as the death of someone young is such a unique tragedy. We’ve pulled together some samples to help guide you through the process of writing teenage obituaries.
Obituary Samples for Teenager
If you’ve been tasked with writing an obituary for a teenager, you may not know where to begin. You want to write something that’s deeply personalized to the person you wrote it for. Talk about the things that were most important to them.
Here are some examples of what you might include in an obituary for a teenager.
1. Example for a teenage daughter
Diana Shelton passed away on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, after a long battle with cancer. She was 15.
Diana was born on February 13, 2003, in Marietta, Georgia. Her parents moved to nearby Woodstock when she was an infant. Even though she knew this Woodstock wasn’t the home of the famed music festival, she became fascinated by music from the 1960s. Diana was a talented singer and musician and she devoted herself to learning songs from that particular era.
In her short life, Diana learned a lot about the importance of giving back. She often performed her original songs at fundraising events for other children she met during treatment. She participated in several walkathons to raise funds for cancer research. She was also an incredibly hard worker. Thanks to virtual schooling, she was able to work ahead and graduate with a high school diploma earlier this year.
Diana is survived by her parents, Mark and Sarah, and by her younger sister, Rebecca. A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2020, at 2 p.m. at the Woodstock Community Garden. Her parents ask that in lieu of flowers, donations in Diana’s memory are made to the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta.
2. Example for a teenage son
Vincent Burke died on Monday, October 5, 2020. He was 16 years old.
Vincent was born in Sarasota, Florida, on April 12, 2004. He was raised as an only child by Annelise Burke. At an early age, teachers recognized Vincent’s innate intelligence. He was put into advanced classes and ended up graduating from high school early. At the time of his death, Vincent had already begun taking classes at New College.
Vincent was keenly interested in the world around him and had hoped to travel extensively. He won’t have that chance, but he would have wanted others to get that opportunity. His mother asks that anyone who wishes to make a gesture can donate to the SYTA Youth Foundation in his honor. A private funeral will be held at a later date.
3. Example for a teenager who died after a long illness
Tianna Fernandez died on Saturday, October 3, 2020, after a long fight with cystic fibrosis. She was just 13 years old.
Tianna was born on September 17, 2007. From the moment she was born, her inner joy seemed to shine. Everyone loved her instantaneously. It’s easy to love babies, but the older Tianna grew, the more endearing people found her. Even when she was at her most visibly ill, she never had a shortage of friends who wanted to spend time with her.
Tianna had a real love of science. While she liked the fun tactile elements like making slime or volcanoes, she really enjoyed how much science can help people. She was appreciative of the doctors and other medical professionals who used their expertise to help make her comfortable.
Tianna is survived by her mother, Esmerelda, and her father, Marco Fernandez. They ask that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in their daughter’s honor. Funeral services will be announced at a later date.
4. Example for a teenager who died suddenly
Tyler Gill passed away suddenly on Sunday, October 4, 2020. He was 17 years old.
Tyler was well-known in the community both for his skills as a soccer player and for his civic-mindedness. Tyler volunteered both with Meals on Wheels and at the local children’s hospital. He made friends with people at all ages and levels of ability.
Tyler’s good attitude and likable personality both helped make him as popular at school as he was in the community. Tyler was a straight-A student as well as the student body vice president. He was also on homecoming court this year.
Tyler is survived by his mom, Margaret, dad, Steve, and little brother, Cameron. A funeral will be held on Sunday, October 14, 2020, at 2 p.m. at King’s Funeral Home on Broad Street.
5. Example for a teenager who died, but won’t have a funeral service
Zara Haas passed away on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. She was 14 years old.
Zara was a fervent reader who loved losing herself in the fantasy world inside of a book. Her family had to ban her from bringing books to the dining room table during meals. She didn’t let that stop her imagination from running wild, though. Anyone who knew Zara heard the fanciful tales she would spin.
Zara requested that there be no in-person gatherings held in her honor at this time. Instead, her family requests that you visit her social media pages and leave messages of support there.
Tips for Writing a Teenager’s Obituary
When someone dies, the obituary is usually written by a close friend or family member. If you’ve been approached to write an obituary for a teenager, you may even be a teenager yourself. This means the act of writing an obituary is probably really new to you. Even older people might not have had been put in a position where they needed to write an obituary. These tips and tricks should make the process a little easier for you, no matter how old you are.
1. Talk to the family about the information you should include
If you’re writing an obituary about a friend or family member, you want to do your best to talk about their lives and their accomplishments. But you also want to make sure that their immediate family is happy with what’s being put out there about them.
Make sure that you talk with a representative from the immediate family first about anything they might wish to include in an obituary. For example, some people don’t want to include the cause of death in an obituary. Finally, do your best to balance the family’s interests with being true to your friend.
2. Include biographical information
When you write an obituary for someone, you should always include certain pieces of information. Include the name and age of the deceased, death date, and birthdate, too.
Some people include the cause of death, particularly if it’s known the person had an illness for a while. But sometimes people don’t include the cause of death, especially if it was in a manner like homicide or suicide.
You can also list surviving family members. For a teenager, this usually includes parents, siblings, and possibly grandparents.
3. Talk about the accomplishments of the deceased
In addition to factual biographical information, you should also talk about great things that the deceased accomplished.
Even if a person is young, he may have achieved a high level in a sport or hobby. She might have also been accomplished in a certain area of study. These are all things that are great to mention in an obituary.
4. Include relevant details
An obituary can also serve as a death notice. If a funeral is planned, you can include any details about it in the obituary.
If the family wants people to donate to a charity in lieu of flowers, that information can be included, too.
Say the Right Words for a Fond Farewell
When a friend or family member dies, you want to make sure to honor that person the best way you can. If you’re asked to write an obituary for someone you cared about, it is a big honor. But it’s also a big responsibility. You just have a few paragraphs to sum up a person’s life. You may ask if yourself if it’s even possible to capture someone’s personality in just a few words. Follow these tips and looking at our sample obituaries.
You may find that it helps give you the confidence you need to write something meaningful and special.