Writing a eulogy for a loved one may be one of the more difficult tasks you may ever be asked to perform. An effective eulogy cannot come from someone who did not know the deceased; therefore, it can be assumed that you are mourning yourself at the time that you are writing your funeral speech.
Focus of the Positive
You may find that it is easier for you and actually therapeutic for those in attendance at the funeral to focus on those things that were wonderful about the life of the departed rather than talking at length about how much you will miss him..
• Tell an amusing story about a time you spent with the deceased as part of your eulogy. This should not be a “belly laugh” kind of story; however, it is certainly appropriate to smile a little when you remember a funny or enjoyable time you spent with your loved one.
• Talk about their passions. The departed loved to crochet or golf, watch football or go to parties. Whatever it is, it should be something positive that can make those listening to you nod and smile, as your words remind them of something they also shared with the person you are laying to rest.
• You can talk about your own beliefs about religion and the hereafter, only if they will have a positive impact on the listeners and if they are not too divergent from those beliefs of the crowd gathered. For example, if the deceased and most of the mourning attendees are Jewish and you are not, do not use your eulogy as a time to preach your own personal religion. However, if your beliefs are the same as those of the family and the deceased, you can certainly use those beliefs as a form of comfort for them and for yourself.
• It is okay to cry. You may get choked up and that is okay; in fact, it is to be expected. Be sure to have your emotions in check such that these moments are brief, however. If you have been asked to deliver the eulogy, it is your responsibility to keep yourself together in order to make this happen.
Use the Ideas of Others
If your eulogy seems a bit weak, or you do not know what you should talk about, you can use the others’ ideas as well as your own. There are several ways to do this, and it will usually be appreciated by those attending the funeral.
• Listen to others as they remember the deceased in the days leading up to the funeral. Use quotes that you hear as a way of honoring your loved one on behalf of everyone.
• Ask others for a favorite memory or observation about your loved one and keep these on note cards to be used in your eulogy. They will appreciate having their own words spoken for them.
• Collect photographs and explanations of the pictures before the funeral. Talk about the events and have the photographs available in an album or a collage to be viewed up to and after the funeral.
Use Other Forms of Delivery
Sometimes our own words seem insufficient in our own ears. Do not be afraid to borrow quotes from scriptures, poets, and playwrights to express your feelings more completely and to create a eulogy that truly honors the deceased.
You may want to use your own creativity and talents to make the eulogy special and memorable. Remember this is not a speech to entertain, but you do want it to be interesting.
• Write a song. Many funerals will have a musical ensemble of sometime that can play back-up, or you could perform with an acoustic guitar or piano.
• Write and recite a poem expressing what this person meant to you in life and what this loss will mean to you going forward.
• Put technology to use and assemble a Power point slideshow with photos of the deceased going back to childhood and including pictures of various time periods up until the present. You can speak about the photographs or simply have the slideshow playing as you deliver your eulogy.
There really is no trick to writing a great eulogy. It must be from the heart, and it must honor the life and grieve the death of your departed loved one. Be sure to include personal observations as well as observations that your listeners can empathize with. A great eulogy will honor the deceased, support the mourning funeral attendees, and provide some level of release for the speaker.
Other Eulogy Articles
Definition of a Eulogy – What is a Eulogy?
Writing Eulogy for Dad / Father
Writing Eulogy for Brother
Writing Eulogy for a Wife
Writing Eulogy for Mom / Mother
Eulogy for Grandmother / Grandma
A Famous Eulogy or Two
Writing Eulogy for a Friend
Writing the Rough Draft of a Eulogy
Writing the Eulogy Outline