Writing A Eulogy

A eulogy is a speech given at a funeral service to honour the life of a loved one. You don't have to be a great writer or speaker to deliver a heartfelt and meaningful eulogy that captures the essence of your loved one. The best eulogies are brief while being specific, as well as thoughtful and often include a touch of humour. A eulogy normally contains: an Introduction where you acknowledge why everyone is gathered, introduce yourself & your relationship to the deceased. A middle made up of a short biography, special memories and other appropriate stories and an end where we say some closing comforting words and say a final goodbye to our loved one.

Here you can find some tips to help you write a eulogy for your loved one.
 

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Decide on the tone

 

How serious or light-hearted do you want the eulogy to be? A good eulogy does not need to be uniformly sombre, just appropriate. Some eulogy-writers take a serious approach, others add a little humour. Used cautiously, humour can help convey the personality of your loved one and illustrate their endearing qualities. 

Consider the audience

 

Write the eulogy with those that will be attending the funeral in mind. Make sure you don't say anything that would offend, shock, or confuse the audience.


For example, don't make any comments about your loved one that would be a mystery to most of those that will be attending the funeral.

Introduce yourself

 

Even if most people in the audience know you, it's still important to introduce yourself. Just say a few words about yourself i.e. who you are and your relationship to the deceased before acknowledging why everybody is gathered—i.e. to celebrate the life of your loved one and to say goodbye.

Include a brief biography

 

When writing your eulogy, you should include a few key points, such as when and where the deceased was born, who was in his or her family, any significant family events, and any other interesting family details or special memories. Include what his or her career achievements were, and what hobbies and interests mattered the most to them.

Other points you might want to include could be:

  • Early childhood - localities and interests

  • Nicknames and/or names known to others

  • Preferences, likes and dislikes

  • Schools attended, awards gained

  • Some interesting items about childhood days

  • Academic or trade qualifications and achievements

  • Details of any war or military service

  • Details of any Club memberships, positions held

  • Details of sporting achievements

  • Details of historical significance

5. Use specific examples

 

When writing your eulogy try to use specific examples to describe your loved one and avoid reciting a list of qualities about them. Instead, mention a quality and then illustrate it with a story. It is the stories that bring the person--and that quality--to life. The best eulogies tell lots of stories as stories are the way that we remember loved ones and keep their memories alive even after they are gone.

Be organised & concise

 

Try to outline the eulogy before you start writing. When you're ready to write, cover each area in a logical order.   

 

The average eulogy is about 5 minutes long, however some may be shorter or longer, there is no right or wrong.