Obitia, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an Affiliate Advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Obitia is supported by its users. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Delivering the eulogy for a loved one is a beautiful way to take part in the funeral service. It is an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of the life lived, and to remind survivors of the memories and legacy left behind. We hope the following information will give you the tools to focus on the task and be confident that by following a few simple guidelines, your eulogy will be the perfect memorial to your loved one.
Preparing the Eulogy
A eulogy is a speech that pays remembrance to someone who has just died and is usually given by a family member at the funeral or memorial service, but it can be given by anyone who had a close relationship with the deceased.
Common thoughts that people have about eulogies are: What should you say? How long should you speak? What information should you include? How can you condense an entire lifetime in a few minutes? Preparing and delivering a eulogy can make those unaccustomed to public speaking understandably anxious. If this is you, it may help to remember to focus on the deceased, rather than your nerves and concerns.
There are many things to consider, so here are a few steps to help you succeed.
If you have been asked to give a eulogy, the deceased is likely someone you love and care about, so you are probably already coming up with anecdotes and examples of the kind of person your loved one was.
Start by writing down stories about the deceased, the memories you created together. Then ask close family and friends for some of their favorite stories and memories, you do not have to do this alone! Write down as much as you can. You will not include everything, but having it written ensures that you will have more content to work with when you go to write. Now, determine the tone of your eulogy. Is it solemn and serious or funny and light? Think about the personality of the deceased and use this as a guideline for your tone.
What to Include
Be sure to keep track of any accomplishments that are noteworthy. Include things that lift up the deceased and reminds people why you are celebrating this life. Everyone will already be grieving and sad, so it’s best to exclude hardships and sadness. Keep it light but personal. Remember you really only need to talk for about five minutes, so a couple of memories and stories is sufficient. Your eulogy doesn’t have to be perfect, no one is going to judge you. Everyone knows you are grieving as much as they are, so as long as you’re lifting up the deceased, and the audience, your eulogy will have done its job.
Making it Memorable
The first thing you’ll want to do is introduce yourself and tell what your relationship to the deceased is. This way the audience will understand where you are coming from when you talk.
Next, tell a story or two. Explain why these particular stories or memories are important to you, how the deceased impacted your life. Don’t make it about you, though, make sure that you’re discussing the type of person the deceased was. Other people will relate to that, and they want to hear about your loved one, not you.
Make sure to keep the eulogy brief, personal and positive. Everyone in attendance will be in one of the stages of grief, as will you. Keeping the discussion positive and brief, while adding your own personal experience with this person will help the audience relate to you and help keep their grief at bay, even if for only a short time.
Finally, be sure to practice. The time you have from when you’re asked to do the eulogy to when you deliver it is a small window. Write everything down and bring it with you. Even the most experienced public speakers have notes for a eulogy. This will keep you on track and prevent rambling. Practicing beforehand will not only help prevent rambling, but it will help put your mind at ease. Especially if you aren’t comfortable speaking in front of a group of people. Practice the speech, time yourself so you know exactly how long it takes, get feedback from family members or close friends. You may even benefit from having a backup person to deliver the eulogy you write. The grieving process is not easy and neither is speaking in front of a group, so simply having someone on hand who can deliver your speech in the event your emotions prevent you from doing so may help put your mind at ease.
Delivering a eulogy is not an easy task, but it is a great honor. Remember that this doesn’t have to be perfect and as long as you’re lifting up the person being laid to rest in a positive way, you will have done a good job. The most important things to remember are to keep it brief, keep it positive, and keep it personal.