How to Announce a Death on Social Media + Examples

Today we’re going to talk about what to post when someone dies. If you’ve lost a loved one, how do you know when it’s the right time to share the sad news with the world on social media? And what do you say?

Or perhaps you know someone who has lost a loved one, and you want to show your love and support. When announcing a death on Facebook (or Twitter, Instagram, or other social media), what is okay to post? What should you say, and what sort of etiquette should you follow?

Learn everything you need to know here. We’ll also include plenty of examples of Facebook posts to share when someone dies.

Etiquette for Announcing a Death Online

In this modern age, most families choose to announce the death of a loved one online, often via Facebook or other social media. Just a couple of decades ago – before the Internet and social media became so central to how we communicate with each other – when someone passed away, an obituary or death notice was published in the local newspaper. Extended family, friends, and neighbors would read when and where the services would take place so that they could attend. These days, the same thing is done, just through social media more so than newspapers.

Before we go any further, let’s make one thing clear: you shouldn’t announce a death anywhere if you aren’t the next-of-kin or immediate family. The only exception would be if the family requests you to be the one to announce the event. Even then, it is a good idea to inform other close family members and close friends personally – don’t let them read about it as they’re scrolling through photos and status updates. It’s just the right thing to do.

Once the news of the deceased person has been made public by the immediate family, then you have the freedom to share the funeral information with your circle of friends, express your grief, pay tribute to the departed, and send a sympathy message to others in the family.

While it’s not common, sometimes immediate family members will not want any details regarding the service to be made public, whether it be due to the cause of death, to avoid family drama with distant relatives, or what have you. In this case, the directing funeral home will not publish an obituary or any service information, perhaps not even the deceased’s full name or date of death, and no one is expected to share it. As an alternative to sharing your sympathies publicly online, you could instead make a phone call, text, send a private message, visit in person, or mail a sympathy card with a handwritten note or words of comfort. These are all different ways, outside of social media, you can still show you care.

A good way to know if you should post or not: if the funeral home has published the services (meaning the funeral will not be private), it is okay for you to share them, as well.

  • Make the death announcement public only after sharing personally with close family and friends
  • If you’re not the immediate family, wait until the news is public before sharing anything
  • You can share memories, photos, and stories, but for the initial announcement keep it simple
  • Pay tribute to their life and legacy while being respectful of their memory
  • Do not bring out grievances, failures, or embarrassments
  • Share the funeral information if it is a public funeral, such as with a Facebook obituary post
  • It’s ok to ask others to share photos and stories with you, as often time the best way is through social media posts

Responding to a Death Announcement

Timing. Wait until the family has announced the death publicly before you express condolences or a memorial tribute. You don’t want close relatives to hear first from you.

Comment publicly. Reply to the grieving family’s Facebook post (or other social media post) with an expression of condolences – it means a lot to the family’s grieving process and only takes a moment.

Message privately. If you’re close to a grieving family member, also be sure to send your condolences in a text message.

Be respectful. Focus on the positive by honoring their memory.

Avoid drama. Do not air grievances, make jokes, or share embarrassing stories.

Be careful with humor. Be sensitive to the wider family; your “inside joke” might be meaningful to someone who is a close friend, but it’s the wrong thing to share if it may offend or upset others who do not understand the context.

Share memories. Send photos, videos, and stories with the family

Visit their memorial page. If they’ve created a memorial website, write your condolences and share memories there.

Use discretion. Be aware and respectful of private information. Remember to only include information that anyone would be comfortable sharing with a few hundred people

Review before posting. Think your response through and make sure it is appropriate, respectful, and free from any spelling or factual errors.

What Not to Include When Posting About a Death

Before we take a look at examples of what to say on Facebook when someone dies, is there anything in particular you should avoid saying? First, it may be best not to include any details as to the nature of the death, any private or personal details, or anything else the family would not want posted for the world to see. When in doubt, simply reach out to them and ask.

Also avoid making the post for someone who passed away about you and your feelings, or a similar loss that you have experienced, rather than the deceased and their family. It’s a fine line to walk, especially when you are also on a grief journey over the loss of someone special to you, but it’s what etiquette dictates. Check and double-check that your post is emotionally mature and appropriate.

Finally, don’t make a post on social media about the death of a loved one, just to leave it at that. Attend the funeral or memorial service, personally follow up with the grieving person or family to ensure that they are doing okay, and check in occasionally after the fact. Posting on social media is nice, but really making an effort to be there for those who are grieving will go a long way in showing them just how much you care.

Death Announcement Posts & Examples

When it comes to posting about death on social media examples, there are three essential categories:

  1. Death announcements
  2. Memorial tributes
  3. Condolences

Death announcements, death notifications, or posts about death in any regard must be made by the immediate family. Using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram can be a perfectly acceptable way to announce that someone has passed away, but if you are not the closest one to the decedent (spouse, parent, adult child), remember to wait to post your tributes, condolences, or any other information until you know the family has made the news public.

If you are the one making the death announcement on social media, here are some helpful things to include in your bereavement post:

  • Date, time, and location of the funeral service, memorial service, or celebration of life
  • Date, time, and location of the visitation or viewing/scattering ceremony/graveside service
  • Link to the online memorial page (this is often hosted on the funeral home’s website)
  • Link to a GoFundMe or other platform for service fund donations
  • Charity or organization to donate to in lieu of flowers
  • Photo(s) of you and your loved one together in happier times
  • Any other pertinent information the public can know

Now let’s take a look at some social media death announcement examples for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts. Keep in mind that the same words and principles apply to all social media platforms.

Facebook Death Announcements

  • It’s hard to find the right words to say this. My heart is breaking as I announce that my Uncle Jonas has died. He was a light to all who knew him. He will be laid to rest on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at Bleeding Heart Cemetery in Detroit. The time is TBD.
  • The Declan Family is saddened to announce the loss of their father, Sam. The visitation will be held Sunday from 1-3 pm at Langley Funeral Home in Cavalier. Cremation will follow. Please see the link for the digital memorial. And, on behalf of the family, please keep them, as well as Sam’s many friends and colleagues, in your prayers going forward.
  • The funeral arrangements for James Aven are pending at Beck Funeral Home in Benson, North Dakota. Click on the link for more information:
  • The death of a family member is never easy, especially when it is your child. My son was the light that held back the darkness. My life will never be the same without him. He was truly a hero and his death will be felt by everyone he’s left behind.
  • Margaret, your dad was one in a million. You were so lucky to have him. You should be proud of the legacy he has left behind.
  • My cousin, Erin, has asked me to announce that her mother-in-law, Julie, passed away last night. The family asks for privacy at this time. They are not planning on a public funeral or service of any kind, but a private funeral will be held at a later date.
  • The world has lost a wonderful man, but Heaven has gained him! Our beloved Uncle Jason has gone home to the Lord – he passed away on Sunday. No plans have been made at this time. All I know is he will be cremated.
  • Our family has some beautiful and funny memories of Aunt Phyllis. I’ll probably share some of the funny memories later, but for now, we mourn and honor her amazing life. Until we all meet again…
  • Your grandmother adored you so much. Never forget the love and the bond you two shared, or the good times you shared together.

Instagram Death Announcement Captions

  • My family has suffered a tragedy today. My father lost his life in a car accident on I90, coming home from a business trip. I will post more as it becomes available.
  • Janice was a beautiful person – both inside and out. I will never forget her.
  • I am sorry to announce that my grandmother has died this morning. Per her wishes, we are having a private ceremony followed by a cremation.
  • Matthew was a wonderful father and husband. My heart is hurting at this great loss.
  • Sally was the best friend I could have asked for. She took all of our secrets with her. I will miss her until we see each other again.
  • It is with heavy hearts we announce that our precious grandma passed away after a long battle with cancer. If you are interested in the details of her funeral, PM me.
  • A life so wonderfully lived deserves to be wonderfully remembered. Please join us in mourning the passing of my mom, Jane McCloud.
  • Our sister, Jenny Smith, died suddenly on Sunday, December 23, 2021. Memorial arrangements are entrusted to the Stevenson’s Funeral Home in Dyer Ridge.
  • We mourn the passing of John Glidden. Feel free to comment below, but beyond that our family asks for privacy at this time.
  • It is with a heavy heart that I announce the death of my cousin Lawrence. Even though Lawrence is no longer physically here, his spirit is always with us.
  • In loving memory of Salvatore Morales, we are saddened to announce his death on Saturday, July 15. Mass will be held on Sunday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. There will be no burial for his cremated remains.
  • Henry was my best friend, and I’ll always remember him. 
  • There will never be another person like your mom. Her laughter was infectious.

Twitter Posts Announcements

  • It is with great sadness we announce the death of our beloved brother, Andrew. He died peacefully on Sunday, October 20, 2021. Service to be announced.
  • Charlie was always the life of the party. No one could tell a joke like he could.
  • As most of you know by now, Uncle Bill passed away last night. Once we have made all of the arrangements, I will post the information. Thank you for your thoughts, kind words, and heartfelt messages during our time of grief.
  • Uncle James was my favorite! He treated me like I was his own daughter instead of his niece. I will always love him.
  • It is with sorrow that I am announcing that our beloved Aunt Macy has died. The funeral will be held at the Morning Glory Chapel on Thursday, January 15 at 11:00 a.m., followed by burial at the Morning Glory Cemetery. Aunt Macy will be laid to rest next to her mother.
  • Jimmy H. was a wonderful friend to our family for over 35 years. He was a vital part of our community and will be greatly missed.
  • Jonah Brach was a strong and caring man. He will be missed by all who knew him.
  • Robert will be greatly missed by me and all who came to know and love him.

Condolence Messages for Social Media

These are condolence/sympathy messages you can send to your grieving friends on Facebook. Notice they are not much different than something you would write in a condolence card.

  • Thinking of you, Sarah. I am so sorry for your loss. If there is anything you need, I am just a text or phone call away.
  • I would like to offer my support to the Miller family during their period of grieving. We are all saddened to hear of Mark’s untimely death.
  • I am saddened to announce the passing of my beloved Uncle Hal. While we miss him beyond measure, we are glad he is no longer in any pain. A private graveside service will be held. Please see the GoFundMe link below…any donations toward expenses are greatly appreciated.
  • Sending my condolences and love to your family at this tragic time. Nothing can replace the love you two shared.
  • We are sending our love your way. Cherish the memories you have.
  • Please know that we are holding you close in our thoughts and prayers.
  • There are no words to express my sadness for you and your family. Just know that my heartfelt sympathies are with you.
  • I’m afraid I have some bad news. As some of you already know, my precious mother went to be with the Lord a few days ago. The funeral will be held on (date/time/location). If you have any photos of her to share, please do, as that would bring my family and me such comfort. You can share them here or at the memorial link I will post below.
  • You are not alone in your grief. My family is here to support you.
  • I am praying for you during this time of loss. The loss of a friend is never easy.
  • You have my deepest condolences on the passing of Bob, and we are all here for you.
  • My sincerest consolations for an incredibly sad loss. 
  • From your “office family”; we offer you our encouragement, love, and condolences.
  • May your brother R.I.P. for all eternity.
  • Jerry, you are in my heart and mind this morning. I will miss your mom, too. She was a wonderful lady.
  • Wishing you the peace that passes understanding.
  • The most important thing to remember, the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. This is His promise to us.
  • I can’t believe I am writing this, but my beautiful son Roger passed away last week. There will be a Celebration of Life for him on (date/time/location). In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to (charity with link). Thank you for your prayers during this extremely difficult time.
  • Appreciate the good memories you have of Bobby. You have fifty-three wonderful years to pull your memories from.
  • I find it hard to believe Fred is gone. He loved you so much. Keep that close in your heart. I will miss him always.
  • I am sorry for your loss. I know you are hurting, and I am here for you.
  • May the happy memories you have of your brother help you through this dark time.
  • Nothing can replace your friendship with Nicky. He was that special someone we all wish we had. We were all lucky to know him.

Death is a part of life. Eventually – we will all have to deal with a friend who has lost someone. Knowing what to say or post could bring comfort to a grieving friend that they need.

Here are some more resources for what to say in response to a death:

Facebook Sympathy Posts - Pin It

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