Writing a Eulogy
Writing a Eulogy can seem a daunting task, so do it in stages. As well as a way of paying tribute to your loved one, it starts the healing process of those left behind.
Gather information for the Eulogy
When the time feels right, on your own, or with family and friends, make a list of your loved one’s characteristics – talented, funny, generous, strong, giving, loving. Looking through photos will help remind you of memories and defining qualities.
Then write down answers to some questions such as – What made your loved one happy? What did you share? What inspired you to write a eulogy? What will you remember most about this person? Did they guide you, teach you, protect you? What did you share? Are you more brave, more successful for having known the deceased?
When gathering information you may want to ask friends and others for their memories and stories. It’s then likely that you will notice some repetition and this will lead you to the defining qualities of your loved one. Were they a teacher, a nurturer, a real live wire, a great role model? This gives you a central theme.
Now you have your information and you can begin to organise your content into a beginning, middle and conclusion. If you start with the Middle, the main theme of the eulogy, the Beginning and Conclusion will be easier.
Structuring the Eulogy
There is no fixed structure to a eulogy, start with a view to establishing your theme. This can be in the form of a poem, a eulogy quote or a short story.
This makes up the largest part of the eulogy where you can build on your theme with personal memories and stories, poems and eulogy quotes and any other content. This is a chance to take your listeners on a journey, remember what you’ll miss most about your lost beloved, what about them brought you joy, the part they played in your life, their achievements – use your notes to share defining moments and memories.
A brief summary of your thoughts and how you feel about your loss. Take this time to acknowledge the sorrow of your listeners, remind them to cherish happier times and give them strength to carry on. It is best to conclude quickly and include your listeners.
“We will miss Mary’s loving and caring nature, her great sense of fun and her famous get-togethers. Her ability to know what’s really important in life serves as an inspiration for all of us”.
Once you have your draft take a break for a few hours, or leave it overnight. Then return to make adjustments and additions.
Some tips when writing a Eulogy:
Keep it natural and conversational.
Keep it short (5-8 mins). 4-7 pages approx.
Keep your sentence structure simple.
As you write, read it aloud often, so it’s comfortable to read (and hear).
Number your pages.
Read it to friends and family and get feedback.