Writing a eulogy for a loved one isn’t difficult, but you should learn how to write a good eulogy. Your loved one deserves a well-written and memorable eulogy that pays tribute to, and commemorates, his or her life.
A eulogy is an important part of the grieving process and funeral service. First and most importantly the eulogy is a tribute to the person’s life. It highlights the qualities that made the person so special. Next, it helps comfort those that are left behind. The eulogy puts people’s feelings into words and allows those listening to hear positive stories about their loved one. Finally, the eulogy adds to the deceased’s legacy. The words written in the eulogy will live on forever enabling future generations to learn about the deceased man or woman.
How To Write A Good Eulogy
1. Gather Your Thoughts
Before you begin writing the eulogy you should spend a day or two brainstorming. Get a pen and paper and jot down everything that comes to your head. Recall fond memories you had with the deceased including serious moment and lighthearted ones. Write down facts about the deceased including their interests, hobbies, likes, dislikes, favorite activities, education, career, family life and so on. When learning how to write a good eulogy the most important fact to remember is that the best eulogies are those that are written from the heart.
2. Talk To Others
Now that you have written down as much about the deceased that you can you should interview others. Call a few of the deceased’s close friends and family members and ask them for help with the eulogy. Ask them similar questions as what you asked yourself. What are their favorite memories with the deceased? What information about the deceased’s life including childhood, education, career, etc. can they contribute. Do not feel obligated to use all of the information you collected. The more information you have, the easier it will be to write the eulogy.
3. Write Multiple Drafts
When you are ready to write the eulogy don’t try to make it perfect. Your first draft will take the notes you have collected and turn them into properly structured paragraphs. You should also think of how you want to structure the eulogy and organize the information you collected into sections. Your first draft will probably be full of spelling and grammar errors and much longer than your final speech. That is ok; the goal of the first draft is to get the pen on paper and organize your thoughts. Next, read over your first draft and correct any grammatical error and remove any unnecessary information. Do this a few times until you have a final version that is ready to be shared with others.
4. Practice The Speech
After you have your final draft written you should share it with one or two friends or family members. You could have them read the speech, but by reading it to them you will get practice speaking the speech to others and they will be able to hear how it sounds. They may give you some helpful feedback that you can use to improve the speech. The next step is to read the speech aloud over and over again. Reading a eulogy for someone you love is a difficult and emotional task and the more prepared you are, the easier it will be. Even though preparation is important you shouldn’t worry about memorizing the speech. It is ok to have a copy of the speech with you at the funeral and it will be less stressful knowing that you have the speech there to read off of when needed.
5. Give The Speech
Now that you have practiced reading the speech it is time to deliver it at the funeral. Try not to stress too much about giving the speech. Your friends and family will appreciate your loving tribute to the deceased and will be happy to hear the words you speak and will not care how well the speech is delivered. When delivering the speech at the funeral speak slowly and pause throughout. Speaking slow will make sure that everyone in the audience hears all of the wonderful words you wrote about your loved one. It is ok to get emotional during the speech. If you do get emotional simply pause and take a sip of water (if available) and continue. If the emotion is too overwhelming to continue, you could have someone else finish the speech or stop and continue later. If you need to stop it is ok, everyone will understand.
Now that you know how to write a good eulogy we recommend that you read one or two sample eulogies, which will show you how a complete eulogy is written.
Updated: June 18, 2012