Did you know that roughly 120 people die every minute?
Death is the last topic most people want to discuss. After all, if asked, almost everyone would like their loved ones to live forever.
Unfortunately, death is inevitable since it’s a normal part of life. And with that comes the need to prepare a eulogy, which sounds easy enough but can be pretty daunting.
Your loved one deserves a nice send-off, and we’ll help you ensure that’s the case. Read on as we look at how to write a eulogy in this article. But first, let’s understand what a eulogy is and why it’s essential.
What Is a Eulogy?
A eulogy is a commemoration speech from loved ones during a funeral service. Usually, planners task different people with varying roles during a funeral.
Some are tasked with choosing funeral transportation services, and others, preparing the eulogy. While none of these things is easy, writing a tribute can be more challenging. You need to tap into your emotions and write about your memories, which can be painful.
A eulogy offers comfort to those left behind and celebrates the life of your loved one. You only need to write from the heart to achieve this, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
How Do You Structure a Eulogy?
There’s no standard on how to give a eulogy. Some people start theirs with poems, and others with jokes and religious readings.
Regardless of your chosen approach, a eulogy should be divided into three main parts. Here’s a basic eulogy structure to keep in mind:
This sets the tone of your eulogy, so be careful when writing it. The beginning of your tribute should cover things like:
- The deceased’s name or favorite nicknames
- The deceased’s favorite religious reading, joke, or poem
- Your relationship with the deceased
- Milestones achieved like marriage, and career progression
You can also mention the cause of death in the introduction if you’d like the funeral attendants to know. But, this is entirely optional, so you shouldn’t feel pressured into going into the details.
The middle section is the heart of the eulogy and the longest part. People approach this part differently – some discuss the deceased’s life chronologically.
And others divide the section into different parts. These include professional achievements, impact on people around them, and hobbies. Either way, here are some crucial topics to cover in the body:
- Childhood years
- Major achievements
- Memorable life events
- Hobbies like traveling
- Fond stories commemorating the deceased
Again, there aren’t any rules on how to give a eulogy. In this section, write anything you’d like the funeral attendants to know about your loved one.
This is the shortest part of the eulogy. It summarizes everything you’ve talked about in the body. Include things like:
- What your loved one would have liked to be remembered for
- How do you want the funeral attendees to remember the person
- What you liked about the person
You can also end this section with a song, poem, or scripture. And, don’t forget to thank the attendees for coming to the service.
Tips for Writing the Eulogy
There’s no right or wrong way to write a speech remembering your loved one. You’ve been chosen to write the eulogy because you most likely had a connection with the deceased.
So, be confident you’ll give a speech that captures your loved one’s essence. That said, we’ll give you some pointers on how to deliver a memorable speech.
1. Collect Memories
You want to capture all the memorable events in your loved one’s life. Unfortunately, this can be difficult since the human mind can only remember so much.
So, you’ll need to gather information from old videos, letters, family members, and friends. Here are some questions to ask:
- What did your friends and family love most about the deceased?
- What memories would the deceased have liked to share with the world?
- How was the person’s personality?
- Did they have a song or quote they loved?
The focus here isn’t to get a quality eulogy but to write about anything you’d like people to remember. Think of the piece you’ll be writing here as a first draft.
2. Refine Your Draft
Ideally, a eulogy should be five to ten minutes long. People may assume you didn’t put a lot of thought into preparing the eulogy if you go below five minutes. And, you may lose their attention if you go beyond ten minutes.
So, go through your draft to ensure it’ll take at least five minutes to deliver. Editing it can be daunting, so don’t be afraid to seek some help from your loved ones. Ensure you choose people who can offer constructive feedback.
3. Practice Your Eulogy
Writing and reading eulogies are two entirely different things. You may write the best speech, only to have a delivery problem if you don’t practice.
Ask your family and friends to help by listening to you and offering pointers. Then, review and edit all the areas you receive feedback on and repeat the process. That’ll ensure you’re ready to give a speech that does your loved one’s life justice.
Things to Avoid in a Eulogy
Think of the adage “Don’t speak ill of the dead” when preparing the eulogy. Avoid topics that may be embarrassing or anything that could raise eyebrows. Here are some of the things you shouldn’t mention:
- Family drama
- Legal troubles
- Unhealthy behavior
- Past traumas
- Triggering stories
- Past arguments
- The deceased’s faults
- The deceased cause of death if it raises questions
While your loved ones may tell you to be truthful in the eulogy, you should avoid some truths. Remember, a eulogy must be comforting and celebrate the deceased’s life. Discussing any of the things mentioned above will affect its effectiveness.
You can look for end-of-life speeches on the internet to get an idea of how to write a eulogy. But don’t copy and paste them since a beautiful eulogy only comes from the heart.
Now You Know How to Write a Eulogy
The first step to writing a great tribute is understanding how to write a eulogy. This article has provided a basic overview of what eulogies contain. They carry three main parts – the introduction, the body, and the end.
Collect information on the deceased from their memorabilia and loved ones. Then, practice whatever you write to ensure you do the deceased’s life justice during the service.
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