Writing a personal eulogy for a loved one is a beautiful way to honour their life. However, we understand that writing a eulogy often inspires feelings of stress and doubt. There are some important things we believe you should consider, such as how the person might like to be remembered, and the audience of your eulogy. To help you with this process we have curated this list of tips for writing a eulogy that you will be proud of.
Take a moment to think of your loved one
For some people, this is the easiest step, and for others it is the most difficult. It is often not easy to think of a loved one shortly after they have passed on. However, it is important to reflect on who they were and let that inspire what you would like to say. Here are some ideas which might help to prompt your thoughts:
- What are the most important things I need to say?
- How old was this person?
- Where were they born and where did they spend most of their life?
- What was this person known as in the community?
- What were their likes, dislikes, hobbies, passions?
- Who would this person like me to acknowledge in my eulogy?
- Who are their remaining friends and family?
- Who else was this person close with over the course of their life?
- How would this person like to be remembered?
- What were they most proud of?
- What are my favourite memories with this person?
- Are there any of these memories that are valuable to the audience?
Hopefully, these prompts will help you to write a eulogy that is personal and thoughtful. After thinking of what you will say, consider the structure of the eulogy. It is important to begin with the important information about the person such as their age and their remaining family, before you delve into personal anecdotes.
The tone of the eulogy is important
Once you have got an idea of some things you might like to say, it is important to consider the tone and style of the eulogy. Every person is unique and each funeral service should reflect this. If your loved one hated funerals but loved parties, it could be appropriate to make the eulogy more light-hearted. Alternatively, if your loved one was quite traditional, it may be inappropriate to incorporate jokes into their eulogy. The audience will appreciate a eulogy that reflects their loved one much more than an attempt to have an interesting and memorable eulogy at the expense of authenticity. As well as the person you are honouring, the eulogy should reflect the speaker as well. So do be yourself, but keep in mind the importance of tone.
How long should it be?
It is common practice for a eulogy to be around three to ten minutes. Once you have written everything you would like to say, time yourself reading it out loud to gauge how long it will be. This can be silently by yourself, or with a close friend or family member. Reading it out loud will also help to identify moments in the speech which might make you emotional and unable to continue reading. If there are sections of your speech that you cannot get through, consider leaving them out or asking a loved one to read them out for you if needed. You may feel that there are simply too many things to discuss about your loved one and their life to keep it under ten minutes. This is just a general rule, so you can take as long as you need, but ensure you leave time for other people who may like to speak as well.
Take your time and be clear
Delivering a eulogy can be difficult for many people. When it comes time to read your eulogy, take your time to read it slowly and clearly. This is easier said than done, but practicing reading out loud with loved ones will help. Ensure that your funeral service will have a microphone available for you if you are a quiet speaker so that everyone can hear you. If you tend to speak quickly, try to slow down for the people in the audience who might struggle to catch every word. This will make sure that you are considerate and thoughtful of your audience in your delivery.
We hope these tips can help you to write and deliver a great eulogy. The most important thing to remember is that your eulogy should be thoughtful, respectful, and personal.
If you are in need of more support, we have free resources available on our website for grief and healing. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our personable and approachable team who are available to guide you through the grieving process.