Delivering a Eulogy
When a close family member or friend passes away, the responsibility may fall upon you to give a eulogy. While giving a eulogy is a great way to honor the memory of your loved one, it is no easy task. The already daunting task of writing a eulogy is also exacerbated by the grief weighing down on you. Often, people do not know where to start when preparing a eulogy. How do you write a eulogy?
Get Your Thoughts Out
There is so much to say about your loved one. Many times, people are overwhelmed with trying to find the right stories to tell or the right things to say. When you sit down to prepare your eulogy, start by making a list of potential things to talk about. You may feel like you have a million things to talk about, or you may feel like you are at a loss for words. Both are perfectly normal. Making a list can help you flesh out your ideas. Putting your ideas to paper can help you express your feelings and can be helpful in working through grief.
Look up Examples
Thankfully, there are tons of examples and templates for eulogies out there. You can find some from the funerals of famous people. Some people will post their eulogies online. You can even find some on YouTube. Looking at examples can help you get a feel for how you want yours to be.
Draft Your Eulogy
Create a draft of your eulogy. Most eulogies are about 1,000 words or so. There are a few things that you should cover. Firstly, introduce yourself. Then, give a mini-biography of your loved one. Common aspects mentioned here include their family, spouse, schools, where they grew up, where they went to school, and their career.
Write down some positive memories you have of your loved one. Talk about who they were to you. What were some of their greatest achievements? What was their happiest moment? What will they be remembered for? How have they helped others? Do you have any memorable quotes or sayings that they were known for?
Next, you should thank those in your loved one’s life. You may want to acknowledge loved ones who took care of them towards the end. You should thank the spouse and parents of the deceased.
Finally, say goodbye. This will not be easy to stand up and say. It will not be easy to write down. But it is important for the grieving process, and it lets your audience know that you are wrapping it up.
Feedback and Practice
Talk with a trusted friend or family member, and ask them to read over your eulogy. They can help you clean it up and make it stronger. They can also tell you if you should change or omit anything. When you are pouring raw emotion onto the page, it is good to have someone to help you make it more presentable. You probably won’t be too focused on grammar when you are writing it, but your friend or family member can help you fix it up. Make the changes you feel are needed and follow the suggested of your loved one to make sure that it is good to go. Write it or print it out.
You should also practice your speech out loud, whether alone or with your editor. It will help you get the words out and may alleviate some of the pressure. Even standing in front of the mirror can be helpful.
Pick a Support Person
Eulogies, and funerals in general, can be incredibly emotional. Pick a friend or family member that will be in attendance to help you. Have them sit close, and give them a copy of your eulogy. If you become emotional and cannot continue with your speech, they can step in. When you are giving your eulogy, they can give you a supportive smile when you need it.
Take Your Time
It can be tempting to rush through a speech when in front of a crowd. But, taking your time can make it easier for the audience to understand you. Speak slowly and enunciate.
If you have to cry during your eulogy, do it. It is perfectly acceptable. It is normal to be hesitant to show emotion in front of others. But a funeral is probably the one place where you will never be judged for crying. Practicing your speech can help you determine where you are most likely to break down, and can help you remain calm at other points. Take a deep breath before you get to the difficult parts. Look to your support person if you need to.
For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.