Would you include a girlfriend of a son in the obitutary?

3 answers | Last updated: Jul 19, 2017
Jimandtara03 asked...

Would you include a girlfriend of a son in the obituary? If so how would you word it?

Expert Answers

Rebekah Peoples, CFSP, CPC, Is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is passionate about serving others and believes that giving clients honest, accurate information empowers them to create tributes and services that are meaningful and appropriate. Her tips about funerals and life can be found at www.funeral411.com.

This is a personal judgement call. It usually depends on the length and depth of the relationship. If your son has been dating his girlfriend for a couple of months, she would typically not be included. If however, he's been seeing her for a few years for example, it would probably be appropriate to include her.

As for wording, newspapers have different wording for obituaries and death notices in different parts of the country. Here are a couple of examples that include married sons with the wording for the unmarried one:

  • Mr. Smith is survived by his sons, Tom (Ann) Smith; Joseph (Heather) Smith and John (Melissa Jones) Smith.
  • Mr. Smith is survived by his sons, Tom and his wife, Ann; Joseph and his wife, Heather; and John and his friend, Melissa Jones.

And don't forget to ask your son and his girlfriend how they feel about including her.

I know this answer is late based on the date you posted it but hopefully you found a way to handle this that was agreeable to all, and maybe this response will help any who read this post in the future with the same question.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

This is more of a comment than an answer. I have been and lived with my boyfriend for 5 years. He just lost his battle with cancer and his family did not include me in the obit, nor did they invite me to the service. I was shocked. I was the one that called them to tell them he was not doing well. I would never ever treat my son's girlfriend like that. I should have the right to mourn at his funeral.

Gabbyk22 answered...

That was heartless and cruel to exclude you from your partner's funeral and to not be mentioned in his obituary. 5 years is incredibly significant and you lived with him which means you probably cared for him while he was dying. I'm sorry you were treated like that. Inexcusable and tasteless on that family's part. Not only did you deserve better, your partner deserved better whether they liked you or not. He chose you and they should have been respectful of that fact alone. I'm very sorry for your loss. - Gail