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Listener question: ‘How do I look online to see if someone I know died?’

As grim as it may sound, sometimes you just aren’t sure whether a loved one or acquaintance has passed on. It’s possible you lost touch with them, aren’t privy to their social circles or you just don’t feel comfortable asking. There are many reasons you may want to look online to see what happened.

It can be a difficult subject to broach with family or friends. Wounds only time can heal may still be very fresh, and death is never an easy subject to talk about. But your question still remains, and you want to know if there’s a simple internet tip or trick you can lean on.

There are ways to ascertain not only whether someone has passed away, but who they are survived by and how you can send flowers or words of sympathy. Tap or click here to see how anyone can find anything about you online. Here are the best ways to find out if someone you know has died.

Search the listings

One of the simplest ways to find out if someone you know has passed away is by using an obituary search online. There are plenty of reliable sites to search for obituaries, but one of the most reputable is Legacy.com.

This website lets you browse by last name, country, date or keywords. Enter the known information and Legacy.com filters newspapers and other informational sources to bring you all results that match your query.

If the person you’re looking for has passed away, it is very likely you’ll find their obituary on this site, with the date they passed away, the funeral home their services were held at, surviving family members and other tidbits of information. Sometimes photos are also included.

These are literal obituaries, so you aren’t likely to read about how they passed away, but you’ll come away with the information you were looking for. This search is fast, private and discreet.

Find a specific obituary

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If you know the name and location of the person you’re looking for, a quick Google (or other search engine) query is your best bet beyond obituary search sites. Type in the person’s name, location and terms like “death,” “died,” “obituary” or other similar words to narrow down your results.

There should be plenty of results that pop up, but be careful to pay attention only to the listings that appear to match your search. For instance, make sure you’re looking at the right city, have the correct spelling for the person’s name and make sure all other details are accurate.

This may take a while, but it’s a good way to figure out the truth.

Search for updates

This may be a more grim way of searching for someone who has died, but it often proves effective. If you have the name of the person, all you have to do is a simple Facebook, Twitter or other social media search.

With sites like Facebook, you can filter the results by location and whether you and the person you’re looking for have any friends in common. Once you locate their profile on a social media page, you can read their latest posts.

More often than not, if a person has passed, their page will have been transformed into a memorial page. Tap or click here to learn about Facebook’s memorial page. You will also likely see friends and loved ones posting to the account with tributes and messages of mourning and support to the family.

It can be a heartbreaking way to confirm a death, but it is quick and easy to find — especially if the death was recent.

Search for a specific gravesite

If you know the person’s name and location, you can always search for their gravesite. FindAGrave.com will tell you where a gravesite is if you type in the person’s details.

If a listing is found, you’ll see more than just the location of a person’s final resting place. The website will also provide memorials, photos and more information about the person who passed away. This site includes celebrity and historical figure gravesites, images and additional information as well.

These methods should help you discover whether someone you know has passed away; however, they also serve as reminders that anyone can find out just about anything about you online, even long after you’re gone.

If you’d like to keep your information private, be sure to adjust your online settings and delete unnecessary information while you still can. Tap or click here to learn how.

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