How to Write a Eulogy
When a loved one passes away, dozens of thoughts run through your head, and several emotions come to the surface. Whether your loved one already prepared his or her own funeral or you need to make all the arrangements, there is one detail that you usually need to consider: the eulogy.
If you’ve never given a eulogy before (and even if you have), this funeral speech can seem like a difficult task. After all, you want your loved one’s funeral to reflect his or her life. You want it to be about the life he or she lived, not about your loss.
So how do you write and deliver the perfect eulogy? In this blog, we’ll talk about this speech and offer tips to help you craft a eulogy that embodies not only your loved one’s personality, but also your feelings and memories about your loved one.
What Is a Eulogy?
As mentioned above, a eulogy is a speech that is given at a funeral or memorial service. The speech praises the person who passed away, and it provides solace as it reminds the decedent’s family and friends of his or her life.
Traditionally, people give eulogies as a part of the service held before the burial. If your loved one was cremated, you can give a eulogy during the memorial service.
Who Can Give a Eulogy?
Anyone can give a eulogy at a memorial service. However, this honor and responsibility is usually reserved for family members and close friends.
Since the eulogy is just one speech given at the funeral or memorial, you or another individual close to the decedent should decide who will give the eulogy. Usually, though, you’ll want a person who knew the decedent incredibly well.
Choose a relative or friend who knows a lot about your loved one’s life-someone who perfectly knows your loved one’s personality and his or her likes and dislikes. Remember, you want the eulogy to respectfully and tactfully reflect your loved one. Regardless of who gives the eulogy, make sure he or she tastefully and kindly creates a eulogy that won’t offend other family members or attendees at the funeral.
What Should I Do Before I Write a Eulogy?
Before you can give the eulogy at a funeral, you’ll want to write it out. Use the following tips as you write this speech:
- Keep your audience (the funeral attendees) in mind. Who are they? How do they likely feel? What do you think they’d like to hear? Use these questions as you start crafting your eulogy.
- Remember your loved one. How can you bring this individual to life during the eulogy? What stories can you tell that will add cheer and hope to the atmosphere?
- Start in the middle of the speech. You may feel tempted to write it out word for word, beginning to end. Instead, focusing on the middle-the most important part of the speech-can better help you draft a cohesive speech.
- Avoid using clichés in your speech. Don’t start with “We are gathered here” or similar phrases. Rather, try something that immediately focuses on your loved one. You could try “Our beloved will be remembered for many things” or something else commemorative.
- Gather memories from friends and family members so you have several stories to consider before you write.
- Decide on a theme for your speech. Do you want it to be more humorous and uplifting? Would you and your audience prefer something more serious?
If you mention certain dates, places, and names in your eulogy, fact check this information before the funeral service. You want any information you use to be as accurate as possible when you deliver the speech.
How Should I Deliver a Eulogy?
After you write your eulogy, practice it. You can take your written speech with you and read from it at the service. However, practicing it beforehand may help you feel calmer and a little more collected as you deliver the speech in front of friends and family.
When you give your eulogy, take deep breaths and take your time giving the speech. Don’t rush through it. You want this speech to properly commemorate your loved one.
As you work to create and deliver a speech after the passing of a loved one, use the tips above to craft the perfect eulogy. Though the eulogy is only one part of the funeral or memorial service, it allows you and other attendees to further admire and remember your loved one. It provides ample opportunity for reflection on this person’s life and what he or she meant to you.
However, a eulogy isn’t the only way you can honor and remember your loved one. As you prepare for the funeral, you can take other steps to reminisce and focus on the decedent’s life. For example, you could create a custom headstone that embodies your loved one’s personality.
For assistance with making funeral arrangements, choosing a casket or urn, or doing anything else related to your loved one’s funeral, get in touch with a funeral home or memorial planning company.
These professionals can help you choose the right items so you can have a service that perfectly honors your loved one. These individuals can also help you select an item that will last for years to come so you can continue to remember your loved one long after he or she has passed on.