Write a eulogy
A eulogy is a speech given at a funeral service to honor and remember someone who has passed away.
Often it's a personal account of the deceased, written in a positive light, and in a voice most comfortable for the person giving the speech.
Eulogies are most often given by the closest surviving family, but if they are uncomfortable speaking, then other family members, friends, or a funeral director may speak in their place. They can either read something the surviving family wrote, or speak for them in general.
Do only what's comfortable; there is no requirement to do anything one specific way. The specific format of a eulogy is completely adjustable to the wishes of the deceased, or how family members wish to commemorate them.
Good to Know At least one eulogy is usually delivered and they usually last between five and ten minutes, but as previously described, additional speakers are often given an opportunity to speak after the eulogy is delivered.
Important Set aside plenty of time time to write the eulogy, because it may not be easy to get it just right. Practice reading it out loud beforehand, especially if you are not comfortable speaking in public.
How to write a eulogy
Though it may feel challenging to talk about the entire life of a person in a short speech, there's no need to list everything about the deceased. A eulogy should highlight rich moments of their life, and highlight moments that best describe who they were.
If you're having trouble knowing what to say, do not feel pressure to say any one particular thing. There is no rulebook. Just speak from the heart about who this person was to you.
However, if you need a place to start, it may help to recite a poem, a passage from books or films, or even lyrics from a song that the deceased may have enjoyed.
A eulogy normally includes:
- A brief description of the speaker's relationship to the deceased
- A brief overview of the deceased’s life, including their age and place of birth
- The names of the family they left behind
- Fond memories and stories
- Significant career or other accomplishments
- The effect they had on you and their friends and family
- Personality traits
- What you will remember most