Death Notices

Writing a death notice is just one of the final closure steps on the road to bidding farewell to a loved one. Here we will have a look at death notices.

Grief-stricken and confused, many people are unable to think clearly during this traumatic period of their lives.

Lending a helping hand

Putting into words what is felt in the heart can be extremely difficult, but websites that can lend a helping hand.

One of these is a website called Inspirational Quotations.

Words of inspiration can be a wonderful soul-soother.

Take for example the Hebrew proverb:

Say not in grief: “He is no more”,
but live in thankfulness that he was.

This website will help families in mourning to find the right words to calm and heal.

What is a death notice?

Death NoticesDeath notices, primarily, is an announcement in a newspaper stating the full names of the deceased, date of birth and death, marital status, names of children, grandchildren and, where applicable, the names of the deceased’s parents.

A death notice is a customary procedure that forms part of funeral arrangements.

Not only is it a way of paying respect to the deceased, it also informs the community of the passing.

Different aspects of death notices

Apart from a straightforward death notice, there are other ways in which to bid farewell to a loved one.

Burial notice

This is a newspaper advertisement announcing the date and time of the funeral service of the deceased.

This notice serves as an “invitation” to the community to pay their respects to the deceased by attending a funeral service in a place of worship.

An obituary

An obituary is another form of the death notice.

This usually has two formats:

  1. A well-known member of the community may have an obituary written about him/her by a reporter in a local or national newspaper because of their contributions to society as philanthropists or established members of the area.
  2. Family members may write an obituary about their loved one, stating all relevant fact about the deceased’s life and attributes, as a paid advertisement in the print media.


So what is the difference?

death notices

Just like a classified advertisement in a newspaper, a death notice is paid for by the family, in a publication of their choice, to inform readers about the death of the deceased, the time and place of the funeral, succinct biographical information and to which charity/organisation mourners can make donations.

An obituary

Traditionally, obituaries are written by newspaper reporters because the deceased was a person of high standing in the community.

However, at the discretion of the selected publication, and at a cost, families may submit an obituary about the deceased, together with a photograph, for publication.

Where to publish death notices

They can also appear in local newsletters published by religious or volunteer organisations.

Generally, the print media will require confirmation of the death either from a funeral home or crematory.

Where to publish obituaries

Paying homage to one’s loved one in the form of a published obituary mainly depends on two factors:

  • Status and
  • Place of residence


This is a free service.

In other cases, where family members feel strongly about paying homage to the deceased in the form of a printed obituary, local newspapers will consider publishing such acknowledgements at a stipulated fee.

What is the cost?

Newspapers charge for publishing a death notice.

However, the cost is largely dependent on the newspaper.

Generally, the larger the city the publication serves, the higher the cost of advertising.

Some publications charge by word count, while others by the number of lines or inches printed.

For example, a death notice published in a Sunday newspaper will generally cost more than a notice appearing on a weekday.

What about photographs?

Grieving families who wish to publish a photograph of the deceased together with a printed death notice or obituary may be allowed to do so, but more times than not at a significant cost.

In today’s cyber age, most publications ask for digital images so check on the requirements.

Funeral homes and death notices/obituaries

In today’s age, most funeral homes take responsibility for writing and publishing death notices.

Opting for this service from a funeral provider sets family mourners free from further confusion and stress in this time of emotional upheaval.


Please fill in the form on this page to get a FREE funeral insurance quote.

All info was correct at time of publishing