Writing a eulogy and finding the words to honor someone you loved can seem like an impossible task. If someone you know and love has passed away, it can be an extremely difficult time, particularly if you’ve been tasked with writing a eulogy. Creating a eulogy for someone can seem daunting, and you definitely want to ensure that you’ve chosen the right words to say that will honor their memory. If you’ve been given this seemingly monumental task, here are eight helpful tips you can use to ensure that you craft a eulogy that will always be cherished.
Sum It Up
Although you probably have plenty to say, a standard eulogy should not last for more than approximately five minutes. The longer the speech, the more people may become restless or, daresay even bored. Focus on the main points of your eulogy and write everything down. Then, practice saying it aloud using a timer so you can be sure that the entire speech lasts around five minutes or so.
Make It Personal
Funerals can be difficult, but there’s no reason you can’t inject some personal elements into the eulogy. Focus on the good times and the positive things about the person who has passed, and don’t be afraid to add a touch of mild humor if it will make everyone reflect on what a wonderful human being they were.
Remember, if you’ve been tasked with writing the eulogy, you’re obviously someone who was very close to the deceased. Don’t hesitate to add in a few personal stories or memories that you hold dear. If you don’t know the person very well, talk to close family members and friends. Most will be more than happy to recount some personal moments that they would like to share with everyone.
Create an outline for your eulogy and then fill in the blanks from there. You can also add a few anecdotes about the person’s favorite sports team, musical interests, or hobbies to make it more personal.
Keep It Positive
Although the moment will surely be a somber one, there’s no reason you should not or cannot remain.
The purpose of a eulogy is to honor someone who has passed, so keep that in mind as you write your speech. The goal is to not add any additional pain to those who have attended the funeral, but instead to cast the deceased in a positive light.
Pre-write Your Eulogy
Even if you’ve mapped out exactly what you plan to say in your head, it’s essential that you transfer those thoughts to paper. Take a closer look at your speech and edit it as needed before the funeral.
Once it’s final, print it out on paper and make sure that it’s printed in a large enough font you can easily see. You never want to be unprepared, particularly in a situation like this, so having everything written out is crucial.
You can print several copies of the eulogy if you wish to give them to close friends and family members as a keepsake.
Delivery Is Everything
Make sure the eulogy you give is in a light, conversational tone. Stay conversational so that the audience stays engaged. Make eye contact as you talk, looking up from your paper every few sentences or so. This will keep everyone focused on what you’re saying, and it helps to create a more comforting environment.
Add a Biography
Before you dive into stories and sentimental moments, write a short biography about the deceased person’s life. This can include where they were born, a short synopsis of their children, and what they did for a career. Creating a bio will give the audience some insight into the person’s life and you might even mention a few facts that people weren’t aware of. The bio can be around a paragraph long, but it’s a very important element of any eulogy.
Small Stuff Is Important
When creating your eulogy, remember to add a few small details like introducing yourself at the beginning and tell everyone your relationship to the deceased. Thank everyone for coming and be sure to mention why everyone is gathered together. These small details will ease everyone into the eulogy and help them focus on you and what you are saying.
Ending on a Good Note
Saying goodbye to someone we love is difficult, but if you end on a good note, the eulogy will stay positive. Close out your speech by mentioning the impact the deceased had on your life and the lives of others. You can finish the speech by saying a final goodbye, and maybe mention something about this being exactly the way the person would want things to be. By adding something happy or positive to the end of your speech, everyone will think of the good things about the person who has passed.
However you frame it, writing a eulogy is never easy, but it can have a lasting impact on peoples’ lives. By following these simple tips, you can create a eulogy that will honor and cherish the memory of someone you love.