How to Write a Death Announcement on Facebook

Published September 10, 2020
woman writing death announcement on facebook

Posting a death announcement on Facebook is common and appropriate in many circumstances today. Writing a Facebook death announcement is similar to writing any other type of death announcement, but there are some subtle differences. Learn how to announce a death on Facebook respectfully with samples and tips.

Etiquette for Announcing a Death on Facebook

There's no standard guide on how you announce a loved one's death on Facebook, but you can use common social norms and social media etiquette as a guide. The etiquette for a death announcement via email is similar.

Who Should Post a Death Announcement on Facebook?

A designated immediate family member is the ideal person to create a death announcement post for Facebook. Once it's posted, others are then at liberty to share the post as long as the creator makes the post public and says it's okay to share. The people planning the funeral will have all the correct and current information, which is why they should create the post.

Who Should You Post a Facebook Death Announcement For?

It's best to only post a Facebook death announcement for someone who had a Facebook account while they were living. If the person had a Facebook page, you'll be able to reach their entire network of friends and family. If they didn't have a Facebook account, they may not appreciate you using that medium to share their personal information, even after death.

When Should You Post a Facebook Death Announcement?

You may want to share a death announcement as soon as you hear the news, but it's best to wait a day or two. You want to ensure all close family members and friends have been notified in a more private way before sharing the news publicly.

Tips for Writing a Facebook Death Announcement

So, what do you write on Facebook when someone dies? Keep in mind that a death announcement is not an obituary. It's a short note to inform others of the person's death and provide information on how people can learn more about services.

woman using her smartphone

Have Good Intentions

The intention of sharing a Facebook death announcement should always be to inform. If you're just looking for sympathy or attention, you shouldn't create a post. No matter your feelings about other people, this is also not the time to block people from seeing the post.

Start With a Sad News Warning

People read Facebook messages at all hours of the day and night, so it's a courtesy to add a warning before the actual announcement. This way, if someone is heading into work or an important meeting, they can wait and read the news later if needed. A simple statement like, "Be advised, this post bears sad news" will work.

Keep It Short

Your message can include around 63,000 characters at the maximum on Facebook, but sharing the actual death news in the second sentence ensures people see it without opening the entire message.

Keep It Concise

Since this isn't an obituary, you don't need to include the story of the deceased's life. Essential information to include is:

  • Full name of the deceased
  • Date of death
  • Cause of death (specific or general)
  • Links to more detailed information such as an online obituary or memorial site
  • The date, time, and location of services if they have been planned (otherwise, add a statement that more information is forthcoming)
  • Permission to share the post (or not)

Stay Somber and Respectful

A Facebook death announcement is not the place to use a bunch of emojis. Keep the tone of your message elegant and somber. Start the notice with an opening statement such as, "It is with great sadness our family announces the death of..."

Use Text to Share the Message

While you can share photos, memes, and videos or even do a Facebook Live, it's best to share the news using only text. This ensures people see the whole message, and they can go back to reference it if needed. You can include a photo of the deceased after your text, but make sure it is just of the deceased.

Check Your Post Privacy

If you want others to share the death announcement post, you need to make sure your post is public. If you want to be the only person sharing it, make sure the post is private and ask that others make requests for you to share it rather than sharing on their own.

Announcing a Death on Facebook Examples

Looking at death announcement wording ideas and Facebook death announcement samples helps you craft your own respectful post. You can use these wording examples and just replace the details or use them as inspiration.

Sample Facebook Death Announcement for a Senior Citizen

This post contains sad news.
It is with deep sadness the Smith family announces the death of our matriarch, Shirley Ann Smith.
Shirley died of natural causes in her home on Friday, March 8th, at the age of 97.
We invite all of Shirley's friends and family to celebrate her life at (insert link for funeral home page).
Details of her end-of-life services will be shared at the link above.
We ask that friends and family members do not share this post on private Facebook pages at this time.

Death announcement on Facebook

Sample Facebook Death Announcement for an Adult

Sad announcement ahead.
It is hard for me to find the words to say that my brother, Bill Wills, Sr. has passed away.
BW, as he was known to many, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on Sunday, October 19, 2020.
Funeral services will be private for immediate family members only at Bill's request.
Friends and distant relatives are welcome to make donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities in his name.
Please help us inform all who knew him by sharing this post.

Sample Facebook Death Announcement for a Young Adult

Gone, but never forgotten.
At just 25 years old, we've lost our sweet Amanda Rain. Life will never be the same.
Amanda left this world on Wednesday, July 25.
Friends and family members are invited to use Amanda's Facebook page as a memorial site.
We will continue to post updates about funeral services on Amanda's Facebook page in the coming days.
The family asks that you share these posts if you have access to Amanda's social network that we do not.

Memorialized Facebook Pages

Facebook has a great feature that allows a deceased person's page to remain on the site as a memorial.

  • You can appoint a legacy contact while you're living who will be responsible for managing your memorial page after your death.
  • You can also choose, while you're living, to have your Facebook page deleted after you die.
  • If you don't make either choice, your page will automatically be memorialized when Facebook learns of your death.
  • A memorialized page shows the word "Remembering" next to the deceased person's name, so everyone knows it's a memorial page.
  • You can also create a group page on Facebook to serve as a memorial page for a deceased loved one.

Sharing Sad News on Social Media

Social media is a normal way many people communicate today. You can use websites like Facebook to share both happy and sad news with a wide network of people. Keep in mind how you approach obituaries, funerals, and sympathy cards, and your post will surely be appropriate. If you didn't include funeral details in your death announcement, you may want to make a separate funeral announcement.

How to Write a Death Announcement on Facebook