If you're the one who's been asked to write and give a eulogy at a funeral, you probably feel a bit (or a lot) conflicted about it. And this is understandable.
Of course, giving a eulogy is an honor - but it's a challenge at the same time. It isn't obvious how to write a eulogy for a father or a friend when you're overwhelmed with grief and don't have many public speaking experiences. But this doesn't mean you should worry, however.
Here are 6 simple steps that could help you understand how to write a good eulogy for your loved one.
While a eulogy shouldn't look like a list of facts, you still should gather some facts before you start writing it. This will help you organize your speech better as well as ensure that you won't forget anything important.
First, focus on gathering the main biographical information about the person that passed: when and where they were born, when were they married, what did they achieved in their career, and so on.
Second, go speak with the person's close friends and family members. Maybe they have some stories they want to share or maybe they would want you to mention something specific in your speech. After you do so, it might be easier for you to find a topic you want to center the speech around (for example, you might want to talk about how kind this person was).
An introduction is a very important part of each speech. Of course, you probably are no essay writer and don't need (and don't want) to follow strict writing structure in your eulogy but focusing on the introduction and trying to make it good is still important.
What to write in the introduction? You can acknowledge why everybody is gathered here, introduce yourself and say who you were to a deceased person, and thank everyone who's present for attending the service. If someone came from far away to say their goodbyes, consider mentioning them specifically.
How to write a eulogy for a mother, a friend, a family member without forgetting something worth mentioning? By writing a short biography first and giving the guests an overview of it in the first couple of paragraphs of the eulogy.
First, say about where the person was born, describe their birth family briefly, mention some family events and details you find interesting. Second, mention the other members of the person's birth family (if the deceased was close to them). Third, talk about the spouse of the deceased, about their children, and grandchildren (if they have any).
Just like we've mentioned above, a eulogy shouldn't look like the list of facts. Everyone who wants to learn how to write a eulogy for a friend or a family member and to make it good and touching should remember that a strong eulogy should be personal.
In order to achieve that, tell stories, share some special memories, and do anything else that would sound personal and appropriate. Pick stores that could be appreciated and understood by everybody rather than the ones that are more personal and relate only to you and the person that passed. Possibly include stories told to you by other people (if they want you to include them).
If possible, you can even make jokes - however, it's important to know for sure that it won't offend anyone. Some people do appreciate a bit of humor, even when it means laughing through tears. For some, however, it would look highly inappropriate.
Here are some additional tips on how to write a eulogy that includes a bit of humor.
If you do want to include a joke, the safest option would be testing it on a couple of the family members first. It's okay to ask their opinion about it and this way they definitely shouldn't be offended by the joke. On the other hand, they could actually help you understand whether you should use this joke or not.
What you definitely shouldn't joke about:
- the situation itself: it would make many people uncomfortable;
- those aspects of the passed person's life they weren't proud of: something embarrassing or simply not flattering;
- the cause of the death itself: this probably doesn't require any further explanation.
It's important to finish the eulogy right. Try to find some words of comfort and some words that naturally continue and wrap up what you said in your eulogy. Talk about how the person that passed changed your life, mention what they taught you, and don't forget to finish your speech by saying goodbye to them.
There are two ways to finish your eulogy: you could either address the person that passed or the audience you're talking to. Choose the one that seems the most natural to you - and that you could easily follow. Remember that sometimes it might be easier to speak to the audience despite you would want to address your loved one more. Therefore, always consider the pros and the cons of both options.
Now that you know how to write a eulogy for a grandmother, for another family member or for a friend, you should do your best to make your speech strong and emotional. However, even the best eulogies require thorough proofreading and practicing, so you shouldn't skip that part.
Besides eliminating the mistakes and shortening the sentences that seem too long to say out loud, you need to double check the facts. You could either do this yourself or ask a friend or a trusted family member to do that for you. If possible, read your eulogy to a few people to see how they would react - this could help you a lot.
Of course, writing a proper eulogy requires some time, research, and efforts. It's could be hard, especially if that person was very dear to you. But hopefully, these tips will make it easier for you, helping you to come up with a great and emotional goodbye speech for your loved one.