Losing a loved one is very difficult and writing their eulogy can be stressful. The following tips for writing an eulogy will help you write a beautiful speech that pays tribute to your loved one.
With proper preparation writing an eulogy will be easy and delivering it at the funeral won’t be as stressful. Also, going through the process of writing a eulogy can be a healing tool and help you grieve. Learn how to write a memorable speech that commemorate’s the life of your loved one.
1. Write Down Your Memories
- The most important part of a eulogy is the personal memories. This will also be the most difficult part of writing an eulogy. It will be a very emotional task thinking about all of the fond memories you have with the deceased. It can help to do this task over a number of days.
- Write down as many memories that you can think of even if you think they may not be important. The more information you have, the better prepared you will be to write your speech.
- When writing an eulogy recall stories that were important to you and think about what the deceased person taught you, your favorite attributes of theirs, how they influenced your life and how will you remember them.
2. Collect Information From Others
- You must have known the deceased person very well if you are writing a eulogy for them. However, no matter how well you knew them it is important to interview other people. Speaking with friends and family of the deceased will help you collect a lot of information that you may not have known.
- Another benefit of speaking to others is that they may have some information that they want included in your speech. Typically only a few people write and deliver eulogies. Friends and family who are not giving eulogies may have an important story or other piece of information that they would like included in your speech.
- You should ask others about stories they had with the deceased, what were the deceased’s favorite interests, how the deceased influenced their life, and what they will remember about the deceased.
3. Choose a Theme and Layout
- The first thing to consider before writing the eulogy is the tone. Will the eulogy be serious, primarily stating facts about the person’s life with a few stories? Or, will it be more causal and light-hearted? Many of the best eulogies include personal stories that have some humor, which helps to alleviate some of the tension of the day.
- Next, you need to consider the layout of the eulogy. Many eulogies are written in chronological order. Or, you can separate it into sections, such as: introduction, memories with the deceased, history of the deceased’s life, the deceased’s interests, how the deceased will be remembered, conclusion.
4. Write the Eulogy
- If you have collected enough information about the deceased, writing an eulogy should not be too difficult. You are basically turning the memories and facts into well-written paragraphs. When you write the first draft you should include as much information as possible.
- After you have written the first draft you should read through it a few times and cross out any unnecessary information. Next, re-write the eulogy so that you have a completed second draft.
- It is recommended that you read the second draft to someone else to get his or her opinion. They will help you with any spelling and grammar errors that you may have missed. Read through this draft multiple times and make any final changes. You may need to write one more draft, but should be ready to write the final version.
5. Add Quotes, Poems and Other Text
- If you are having difficulty including enough information in your speech, adding a quote, poem, verse or other important piece of text can help. If you add one of these phrases, it is typically added to the end of the eulogy but can also be spoken at the beginning.
- Choose a quote, poem or other piece of text that is meaningful to you or the deceased. The best quotes are ones that are appropriate to the situation. It could be about death, or could be related to a story or memory you are telling.
6. Practice The Speech
- Print the speech in a large font so that it is easy to read. It is ok to have the speech at the funeral; however, you don’t want to have the font so small that you need to hold it close to your face to read it.
- Read the speech aloud, which will help better prepare you for reading the speech at the funeral. It is recommended to read the speech to one or two people. This will further help prepare you for reading in front of other people and you will also get valuable feedback that can help you improve your speech and delivery.
- When practicing the speech, look for areas that you can pause and catch your breath. It can be helpful to write the word “pause” throughout the speech to help you remember to slow down and take a deep breath.
7. Deliver The Speech
- When delivering the speech you should avoid speaking too fast. Take frequent pauses to catch your breath. If you feel that you are becoming emotional, pause or take a sip of water, then continue.
- Try not to stare down at your speech. Look around the room and make eye contact with your audience. It is also important to speak clearly with a loud voice that can be heard by everyone.
- You should also prepare to have a friend or family member deliver the speech for you in case you become overwhelmed with emotion. This will also help alleviate some stress that day because you know that someone else is prepared to give the speech if you are not able.
Now that you know more about how to write an eulogy, it can help to read a few sample eulogies. The samples will show you how a completed eulogy is written.
Updated: June 18, 2012