How to Write a Eulogy
The eulogy is in essence a speech delivered in tribute and celebration of the deceased person. It may cover a wide range of topics, but generally includes their ‘time-line’, life achievements and ways in which they have touched the lives of others.
It may be delivered by a chosen family member or friend, Clergyperson or Celebrant and is often lovely when shared between a number of people. These tips may help you learn how to write a eulogy.
Writing and delivering the Eulogy is an important task and can mean a great deal to grief stricken family and friends.
Engage the support of others as you compile the eulogy. This can indeed be a special time for friends and family members, as they reflect on the life of their loved one.
Where to start:
The persons history in chronological order:
- Full name/nicknames
- Place of birth
- Parents and siblings
- Childhood days
- Places lived
- Hobbies or special interests
- Notable likes and dislikes
- What did you love and admire about the person?
- What will you miss the most?
- What did they do that made you smile?
Are there any significant stories that may capture your loved one’s character? Family and friends may also be able to assist with meaningful contributions.
You may notice a theme emerging as you jot down your thoughts. This may assist you in writing a eulogy of substance that flows well. For example, recollections may reveal the persons love of flowers as a child, that she later studied floristry, the joy she had in giving and receiving flowers, that she travelled the world in search of beautiful gardens, that she later opened her own successful florist shop – bringing great satisfaction and the employment of others.
Specific beautiful flower tributes may be displayed at the funeral to further demonstrate the life of your loved one.
Writing the Eulogy:
Try to write the Eulogy in three parts: introduction, body and conclusion.
The following suggestions may help:
- Introduction: Why you have all joined today and the qualities of your loved one
- Body: Where you provide a timeline and share stories that may refer back to the introduction
- Conclusion: Summarise the thoughts raised in your speech and reiterate what the person has meant to you and others
- Write as though you are talking to a group of friends and have a chosen trusted person check over your draft and completed eulogy.
- Print the eulogy in an easy to read format.
- Use humour where appropriate. Family and friends usually appreciate hearing funny stories about their loved one and this greatly contributes to the celebration of their life.
- You may want to consider using a meaningful quote to open or close your speech. Or words from poetry, songs or others speeches may assist you.
Delivering the Eulogy:
There is no mistaking public speaking can be frightening but remember that your listeners are in attendance in an atmosphere of love and support. Your story of the deceased person and the meaning behind it will be what matters the most.
- Take the time to practice beforehand
- Arrange for another person to assist in speaking in the event it becomes too difficult for you
- Try to relax and imagine you are speaking to friends
- Do your best to project your voice and speak clearly
- It’s OK to pause and collect your thoughts. Your listeners will appreciate your efforts and understand.