Being chosen to eulogise someone is an incredible honour, but it is also quite a daunting task. In the midst of all the funeral arrangements often this important task can be overlooked. With these simple tips you’ll be able to write the touching, heartfelt eulogy that the deceased deserves.
Sit and Remember
Take some time to repermember all of the great memories you shared with your loved one, and try to think of how they enriched your life and the lives of others. Talk with friends, significant others, kids, or parents and ask them if they have any heartfelt stories they would like to share. Even if you cannot use each memory, the process of remembering the deceased warmly will help people to begin the grieving process.
Decide on a Theme
The writing process flows much easier when you have a structure to work from. You can choose to base the eulogy on the person’s accomplishments and achievements, or perhaps you’d like to focus on their family life and positive personal traits, or even explore how the deceased made a positive impact on your life. You can share their favourite music, poetry or even their favourite sports team! A theme will give your eulogy a nice flow, and will assist you in the writing process.
Write the Body
Once you’ve chosen a theme, you’ll have to write the body of the speech. Gather the relevant information into different sections, and use examples in each. Your first paragraph may be about their accomplishments, your second could feature stories about their family, your third could outline some character traits, and you could then share some favourite memories. The idea is to outline stories of your own, or those you’ve heard from others, and convey to the gathering that the person you are eulogising has lived a good life.
Create the Structure
A eulogy is much like any essay or speech, it is a well present argument, and as such needs a beginning and end. To begin, it is often good to introduce yourself and how you are connected with the deceased, and it is also nice to thank the gathering for being there to provide you with comfort and support. In this section you should also outline your eulogy’s theme, for example, “I’d like to share with you some memories on how this person changed my life”. At the end of your eulogy you should summarise the main points you have made during the speech.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you’ve created a draft of your speech, it is often a good idea to have another person look over it. Once everything is finalised then it is important that you practice reading the eulogy aloud. It is important for you to recognise certain areas that may be particularly difficult to deliver, and by reading aloud you will see the times at which you may become emotional (which is absolutely fine). Many people feel they have to be stoic and an excellent public speaker, but in reality everyone is gathered to hear your love for the deceased and to grieve with you.
Take Your Time
Reciting your eulogy to the gathering is an incredibly moving moment, and your practice may not prepare you for the overwhelming emotions you may experience. If you do need to stop, take your time, breathe, have a sip of water if you need to, and continue. You do not need to rush this speech, and if you find yourself unable to finish the eulogy be sure to have a back-up person to assist you.