You may feel a little nervous or daunted if you have to deliver the eulogy at a loved one’s funeral. After all, you want to pay your respects in an appropriate way and to do your relative or friend proud.
However, if you’ve never made this kind of speech before, you may not know how to create the perfect tribute. The following points will help you create a suitable structure and craft respectful and personalised content.
Find Out How Long the Eulogy Should Last
Eulogies don’t last for set times. Some people deliver touching short tributes; others prefer to make a longer speech.
However, you can get a guideline time before you start writing if you prefer. The funeral service does work to a pre-set timescale and your eulogy might have to fit in with other parts of the service, such as hymns, music and readings.
If you aren’t sure how timings will work exactly during your service, ask your funeral director for advice. They can give you a guideline timing for the speech. It helps to know how much time you have before you start writing.
Create a Biographical Structure
It can be hard to know where to start writing a tribute to a loved one. You’re likely to have a lot of ideas about what you want to say but might not be sure how to organise them.
The simplest way to do this is to work to a basic biographical structure. Write down your loved one’s key life details from their birth to their death in chronological order.
So, jot down notes on the deceased’s family background as well as events like marriages and the birth of children and grandchildren. Once you have this information on paper, you have a basic structure for the speech. You can then start fleshing it out to make it more personal.
Add Personal Touches
An effective eulogy creates a picture of the person who has died. This resonates particularly well with relatives and close friends who knew them well; it also informs members of the congregation who may not have been as close to the deceased.
Anecdotes, stories and even jokes work well here. You can use these to illustrate some of your loved one’s special characteristics, qualities and habits. If the deceased had a favourite hobby, place to visit or things to do, then these are all worth mentioning.
Bear in mind that you don’t have to bear this burden alone. Talk to other family members or friends and ask them for their memories of the deceased. They will be a rich source of stories, anecdotes and jokes to enhance your eulogy.
Take the opportunity to say a final farewell
Eulogies work best when they reflect your own feelings, especially as you come to the end. You, and other people at the service, will benefit from closure at the end of your speech.
So, don’t be afraid to say your own goodbyes at the end of the eulogy. Say how much the person meant to you and how much you will miss them. You aren’t simply making a statement on your own behalf; you’re also talking for everyone else at the service.
Run the eulogy by other people
You’ll feel more confident about your eulogy if you run it by someone else before the service. So, for example, if you’re delivering your Mum’s eulogy, you could ask your siblings to read it. If you’re paying tribute to a friend, you could ask one of their other close friends to take a look.
This reassures you that you have included everything that is relevant and that you have set a good tone. Reading the eulogy aloud to someone else also gives you the chance to practice the speech before the big day and to check its timing.
For more advice on writing a eulogy, contact Cremations Only. As a family firm, we take pride in helping people create the perfect final tribute for their loved ones.