Addressing a Blended Family in the Obituary

October 10, 2019 11:54 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Besides changing family structure, divorce and remarriage also change obituaries. Funeral plans need to include all family members, and part of that is handling the obituary with tact. Family may not accept a live-in girlfriend or same-sex partner, but these individuals must be accepted in the modern definitions of family. Here are five tips on drafting an obituary for a loved one with a blended family as part of their funeral plans in Lake City, FL:

  • Stay honest: Obituaries are the telling of a life story. Your loved one has passed away, and there is no changing it. Not everything is going to be bright and shiny, but there are highlights that reflect the best of the deceased. Do not write fiction. Write the truth and allow the entire story to flow even if it is not ideal.
  • Soften hard facts: Even in the 21st century, there is a stigma surrounding divorce, especially in religious families. While this is often a positive development that allows greater happiness and improved co-parenting, the old shame still emerges once a loved one dies. Rather than ignore the divorce and hide any partners who followed it, simply present it as “Although they entered the marriage with the best of intentions, it was less permanent than expected. Both went on to [earn a degree/remarry/co-parent exceptional children/etc.].”
  • Address parents equally: Many people were raised by adults other than their biological parents. If these were healthy relationships, step-parents and adoptive parents deserve mention in an obituary. Adoptive parents can be a complicated matter if the adoption was not known to family before the death. In that case, mention the adoptive parents as you would the biological parents in an obituary. If the adoption was known, give the birthdate followed by “[Name] was raised by parents [Name] and [Name] from the age of [age of adoption].” Step parents can be addressed similarly: “[Name] was raised by mother [Name] and step-father [Name], along with father [Name] and step-mother [Name].”
  • Include step-siblings: There are two ways to address step-siblings. One is to list everyone together as siblings and skip the “step” distinction. The other is to distinguish them but list all the names. Either way, do not exclude step-siblings unless they remained on the periphery of the deceased’s life or were a negative influence.
  • Avoid long lists of names: If the deceased had many friends, or if there are relatives who will be offended if they are not included in the obituary, give fewer details. There is always the option of skipping survivors and predecessors. If the deceased had more chosen family than biological, consider naming a few significant individuals and mentioning the wide network of friends and relatives more generally. For example, “Deceased is survived by [Name], [Name] and [Name], as well as a host of loving friends and relatives.”

ICS Cremation & Funeral Home offers assistance with funeral plans in Lake City, FL, including the preparation of obituaries. If you need assistance with any funeral task, contact us today and see what our services can offer you.

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