Writing or giving a eulogy can be one of the many ways we say goodbye to our loved ones and bringing their life to a close. It also can provide a perspective on their life to the audience. Many of us aren’t great writers or orators, but you don’t have to be, in order to deliver a heartfelt eulogy and capture the essence of the deceased. When writing/giving a great eulogy and connecting the audience with your deceased love one, make sure that you include each of the following.
Before you start writing the eulogy, it is always good to take a step back and take a good look at the life of your loved one. Walk around the house, flip through old photo albums, letters, birthday or Christmas cards or any other personal items that has significance to their life. You can also talk to some close relatives and friends so they can share their own memories.
It’s about your loved one, but for the audience
Before writing a eulogy, you first need to think about the people you will be addressing and of course about your deceased love one. It’s important that you pick the proper theme and style for the eulogy and this depends on the audience.
Will close family and friends be the only ones attending the funeral or will there be others too? This is important to know in order to determine what specific things to say and to avoid.
A eulogy doesn’t necessarily have to be mournful and depressing. Naturally, those that were the closest ones to you will be emotional and some will be in tears. However, people are also grateful if the eulogy is also uplifting and inspiring.
The goal of the eulogy is to capture the essence of the deceased. That of course doesn’t mean that you only have to focus on the good things. Try and be honest but selective.
How to start?
Usually people start a eulogy by introducing themselves and their relationship to the deceased. You can always thank the attendees for coming, especially if they travelled long distance.
Loved one’s personality
After covering the basics about your loved one (name, birthplace, children etc.) you need to dig a bit deeper and present the audience the experience he/she had that shaped him/her. Think about their personality and write down words that first come to mind when you think about your loved one. Try to describe their nature, traits, what made them unique and what where their list of qualities (you can focus on the good and the bad).
Share stories about the deceased
Instead of sharing a lots of fact about your loved one’s life, try and recapture some of their stories. You can mention and tell a few stories from various points in their life in order to paint a more colorful picture about your loved one. You can include a story from their early childhood, family life, highlight about their personality etc. Stories will provide the necessary depth to the eulogy and the audience will fee much closer to your loved one, even if they didn’t know him/her very well.
How to end a eulogy?
The most appropriate way to end a eulogy is to sum it up in one simple, final thought. You can for example say that you will miss him/her and that you wish them to rest in peace.
However, if your loved one had a favorite writer or actor, try and research some of their more famous quotes and see which one of them would be appropriate for the occasion.
Organizing and practice
The eulogy should have a beginning, middle and end. The eulogy should be simple, easy to understand, without too much rambling and to the point. Some people chose to structure the eulogy in a chronological order, others prefer the reverse chronological. It a matter of preference.
When you feel good enough about the eulogy, as some of your family members or closest friend to sit down with you and read them the eulogy. Their feedback can be a valuable resource. You can make sure that the information is accurate, if you captured the essence of the deceased right and whether the theme/tone of the eulogy is appropriate. Here is where you can make minor edits and perfect what you already have.
Writing a eulogy isn’t something you should do in one sitting. It takes time, planning and most of all, feeling. Break the process down to steps and you will surely write/give a deep, warm and reflective eulogy.