Writing a Eulogy - 5 Tips
Don’t worry about what you think you’re ‘supposed’ to write and don’t worry if you
think you aren’t a good writer. Writing a eulogy can be daunting - but think of it as
an honour - that alone may make it a little easier for you.
GATHER MEMORIES AND ASK QUESTIONS
Think about all the things that stand out in your memory about your loved one.
Ask close family and friends what memories they have too.
Even if you don't include them in the eulogy, hearing everyone’s stories may help
you in your process. You can ask yourself a few questions too:
What did you most admire and respect in the person?
What will you miss and remember most?
Did they have any funny sayings or characteristics?
BEGINNING, MIDDLE AND END
Start by briefly introducing yourself. Most people will know who you are, but there may be a few that won't. If it's a very intimate service, this can be done in a less formal way eg: 'You all know who I am, Betty's favourite daughter....'
(There's no harm introducing a little humour into the eulogy. If something you say can make the attendees smile, then you're on the right track.)
The core of the eulogy is the story of your loved one's life. You don't have to be overly specific. Basic information about their life, from where they were born, when they met their husband/wife, birth of children and so on.
Also think about a few of your loved ones memorable achievements. Was there something they were extremley proud of? Maybe study later in life and graduate with honors!? Did they dedicate their life to a specific cause?
Mention a few memorable stories. If your loved one was renowned for wearing wigs you could tell the story of the time Betty's wig flew off on the tarmac when she was boarding the plane!
At the end you can briefly summarise the main areas you covered. You could speak directly to your loved one eg: telling them how much they will be missed and you know that they will be smiling down on you from above, or if they were an avid golfer, telling them that you're so happy that they can now stroll the greens everyday and get their hole in one.
ASK FOR FEEDBACK
Ask your family and/or closest friends to read what you've written, that way you know if you're on the right track. Accept any ideas they present. Make adjustments, and re-read it from beginning to end a few times to make sure it flows nicely.
A eulogy should be no more than 5 minutes long so it's important to read it out loud to see how long it takes. Reading it out loud a few times will also make you feel more confident on the day.