How to Write a Eulogy

Posted: 04/12/2017

If you have been given the honour of writing and delivering the eulogy at the funeral of a family member or close friend, it seems extremely daunting. In addition to the feelings of sorrow and grief, you may feel an added pressure on top. While only you can put your own personal spin and touches on the eulogy, we have some tips to help you in writing and delivering the speech.

Keep the Eulogy Brief

Less is more when it comes to Eulogy, you don’t want to write a novel – although you probably feel as though you could. In said of speaking for too long and fearing your audience being bored or uncomfortable, try and stick to a 5-minute limit.

To help you keep it brief, you should aim to focus on a few specific qualities about the deceased that meant a lot to you and that you personally admired. Share a story about the person which you believe perfectly expresses these traits, ideally, this should be something you witnessed first hand or that involved you personally. You can always ask other close friends or family members for some ideas if you struggling, which is common due to overwhelming grief.

Keep the Eulogy Personal

A eulogy is meant to be moving. You will not achieve this is you simply start listing characteristics and things that the deceased loved to do, such as “Auntie Jane loved making cakes and was a funny person”

Instead of listing things off, consider sharing a story which illustrates their love for something – something which was commonly known amongst their loved ones.

Keep the Eulogy Positive

stay-positive

At such a heartbreaking and grievous time, there needs to be some positivity for people to hold on to. Whilst someone so special in your life has passed, you should remind those gathered of the things that the person stood for and the lessons everyone can take from their life.

In addition, you should avoid mentioning negative aspects of the person’s life. For example, if they had Alzheimer’s, do not focus too much on who they became due to that illness – even though this can seem like an obvious thing to mention, do not make it the sole focus of the speech.

Keep it Conversational

To make your eulogy easier to deliver, you should keep it conversational. Public speaking is one of the greatest fears amongst the masses, so this should help you with overcoming it. It also makes it more interesting and more comfortable for the listeners if you speak in a conversational tone over a formal tone.

When addressing the audience, you should aim to look up to further this informal atmosphere that you are aiming to create. This way you will also be less likely to rush through your eulogy and deliver it in a monotone voice.

If you feel that looking at the audience will make you too emotional, keep your focus on your written remarks. Do not feel self-conscious if you need to compose yourself at any point. Take it slow and pause if you need to.

Think of your audience

There are a few things you have to consider about your audience:

  • Who are they? – Is it just family? Will friends of the deceased be there that you don’t know? Are there things you should consider?

  • What do they want to hear? – Will it be too painful to mention certain things? Most people would want to hear good things about the person who has died and simply forget the bad things. However, people are not perfect and you may want to mention their imperfections to capture their true essence. Maybe try an incorporate something like “being the stubborn person she was…” in a lighthearted way into a humorous story.

  • Will there be children to consider in the audience?