Being tasked with piecing together a eulogy to either speak at a funeral or to produce in written form can be difficult if words don’t come easy to you. With just a few short paragraphs, it can be a challenge getting across the important points you would like to raise in regard to someone’s life.
Before you begin writing the eulogy, take some time to reminisce on the times you spent with the person who has passed away.
By noting these memories there are sure to be a few that you remember more fondly than others, instantly providing you with the topics you’re likely to connect with most powerfully.
When thinking about what to include in the eulogy, consider:
Where you met?
How you met?
What will you miss the most about the person?
What made them unique?
What is your favourite story about them?
The answers to these questions will be the key building blocks to a touching eulogy that recounts the individual they were and the connection you had together.
With these building blocks in mind, you can also consider the following while writing a eulogy:
Provide an Introduction
Although many of the people attending the funeral were relatives and friends of the deceased, and most probably know you as well, it’s still worthwhile providing a brief introduction outlining who you are and how you knew the deceased. It’s unlikely every single person in attendance is aware of who you are and the story behind how you met and became close during your lives knowing each other.
Set the Tone for the Eulogy
To set the tone of the eulogy you need to consider the individual you are writing about. Many people struggle with sharing their grief, instead finding it far easier to take a lighter tone with some light-hearted humour and stories of happy times sprinkled in. Others prefer to take a sombre and serious tone. Either way, you need to be comfortable sharing your words in a way that relates to the audience in the way you intend them to.
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Understand the Audience
In connection with the tone of the eulogy as mentioned above, you also need to understand who will be listening or reading in attendance to help with your decision on the topics you’d like to highlight. Some jokes or lighter notes that you plan to include may fall flat or may be inappropriate or too risky for some to appreciate.
Include Examples Throughout Your Eulogy
If you highlight certain qualities or traits about the deceased, it’s a good idea to include personal stories that exhibited that particular quality about them so that it resonates more effectively with the audience. It may be a personal story to you, but these stories will also be cherished by other family members and friends as they fondly recall noticing those same qualities.
Trust Words that Come From the Heart
A eulogy is a beautiful opportunity to say a public goodbye to your lost loved one, be it friend or family, in an intimate environment surrounded by those who love and miss them the most. Trusting your emotions and speaking from the heart can be your way of sharing your treasured memories to those who are also struggling with the same grief.
Ask for Feedback on Your Draft Eulogy
Allowing a few other people to read through a draft copy of your eulogy can be extremely helpful as you can make relevant amendments or additions based on other people’s opinions. Of course, these are ultimately your words, so only make the changes if you believe they will strengthen the eulogy.
If your eulogy is to be a speech, this also gives you a great opportunity to practice speaking in front of others and to gauge how you are coming across.