When we lose a loved one, it is a tradition to want to eulogize them. However, this is not always easy, given that we are hit hard by the unexpected death. We immediately wish that we could do things differently, and maybe change the entire situation.
Unfortunately, we have no power over death and all we can do is mourn and provide a decent send away for the deceased. In this article, we are going to look at some of the key elements of a eulogy. In addition, we are going to focus on how to write and deliver a eulogy for an aunt.
Usually, we create strong bonds with our aunts when we are young. I mean, they are the people that help our parents with babysitting and all in all, they are family. Therefore, it is understandable to mourn the loss of an aunt, a person who provided care for you when you were little. In such a case, you can actually find yourself handling the task of eulogizing her. Below we are going to look at the steps to write an effective eulogy to celebrate and honor your beloved aunt.
Most people struggle with the idea of writing a eulogy for an aunt. However, you can be able to write a good one when you remain within authentic memories of your aunt. Now, the truth is, this is not a very simple task as you are entrusted to write down some of the best memories of your aunt. Assuming that you had a great relationship with her, it is not going to be easy for you as you are also mourning. So how exactly do you take up this huge role?
Share her memories
We usually say that even when a loved one has left us, we are left with some of the fondest memories of them. This is no different when we lose our beloved aunts. When you finally get down to write the eulogy, the very first thing you should do is recall the memories you hold dear of her. What is that one thing that reminds you of your aunt?
Once you figure out the answer to the above question, you can, therefore, go ahead to write it down. However, you may not have the time or even space to write down all the good memories you have of her. Therefore, you can ask around the family members about how they remember her. This will give you a starting point.
Remember that a eulogy should remain as genuine and authentic as possible. Gather as much information as you can around your cousins and other people who knew your aunt well. In addition to this, ensure that you have captured all the details in order to get one point that will be the theme of the eulogy. What is that one thing that your aunt was known for?
For instance, your aunt might have been your care provider at some point in life. Relive those memories and showcase how tender and caring she was. You can be able to do this by including an anecdote about how loving she was. For instance, you can tell a story about how she once cared for you or did something for you to show love and care.
Speak to other family members
Keep in mind that losing your aunt is not only your loss but the entire family’s. So, when you are brainstorming for details to include in her eulogy, you can seek more information from your siblings, uncles, and aunts as well as your grandparents. The goal is to ensure that you have enough information to create a theme for the eulogy.
It is important to paint a picture for the audience to be able to recognize your aunt. Let them feel like they had known her when she was alive by bringing out her personality in the eulogy. I understand that during this time you are going through a tough time. However, describing and talking about your aunt is not only going to help people know about your late aunt but also assist you to acknowledge the death of your aunt.
Take your time to brainstorm some of the memories that you will share. You cannot be able to include everything in the eulogy since you will have limited time to deliver the eulogy. Sit down with your family and come up with a common theme that will bring your aunt’s memories back to life, and everyone will be able to identify with the audience.
Develop a theme
This is an important aspect of a eulogy. You must first of all come up with a conclusive theme for the eulogy for your aunt. A theme will define what you want your audience to feel as you deliver the eulogy. As much as losing her is sad, it does not mean that the funeral services should be all teary and sad. Some of the themes you can choose from may include but not limited to:
In some cases, you might not have to cry and wail over your aunt’s death. Some people tend to celebrate a life well-lived, especially if your aunt passed away in old age. Well, it is said that she is gone, but then again, she got to live her life to the fullest. This calls for a celebration of life, rather than a sad and depressing funeral service.
In addition, if your aunt had been ill for quite some time, you might think of her passing away as a way to relieve her from the pain. Some people view it as a way for the deceased to rest after battling an illness for a long period of time.
You can also opt to write a religious eulogy instead. This is especially if your aunt was a religious person. In fact, most Christians will encourage a religious eulogy for the deceased. Once again, this is not exactly a sad theme for the funeral service. This is because the Christian faith dwells on the afterlife eternity.
Well, in Christianity, once a person dies, they do not cease to exist but move on to their next life. This is where they have been promised nothing but eternal peace and rest. I mean, it is quite encouraging to think that your aunt is no longer suffering but has gone to be with the Lord. In addition, we also tend to believe that those before us are watching over us in heaven.
You can only do this if your aunt was religious. It would be awkward trying to celebrate your aunt, who was not a Christian, with your own beliefs. Therefore, it is vital for you to ensure that the eulogy talks and celebrates your aunt just the way she would have wanted you to.
This is an ironic theme given that you are mourning the death of your beloved aunt. I mean, why would you be grateful for it? Well, just like the celebratory theme, you can also choose to give thanks to the Lord for delivering your aunt’s soul. Well, once again, this goes back to the religious type of eulogy whereby you are appreciating God’s will.
It is common for you to wonder why God would take away someone you loved so dearly from you. However, since you cannot change that, you may give thanks in the hope that she has been delivered and is resting in peace. Talk to your family about your aunt’s life values and beliefs before you settle on a particular theme.
Well, you can choose to simply base the eulogy for your aunt to commemorate her. Share her fondest memories, as well as accomplishments with the audience. As much as this is going to be difficult for you, it is helpful for you to talk about your aunt. This is going to help the audience relate to the deceased as well as remember your aunt during the funeral service. You can actually decide to simply share stories about your aunt as well as her inspirational life values and beliefs.
Once you have settled on the theme of the eulogy, it is not time to get down to writing. At this point, you may want to speak with the funeral coordinator and enquire about the time allocated for the eulogy. This way, you will be able to write the eulogy according to the time. Usually, eulogy reading will be allocated only 5-7 minutes of the funeral program.
Writing the eulogy for an aunt
When writing the eulogy for your aunt, include an introduction, body as well as ending. The introduction should feature your aunt’s name, date, and place of birth. In most cases, there will be an entire biography about her before you can deliver the eulogy completely. In the bio, ensure that you bring out your aunt’s personality as well as her beliefs.
Well, since you are going to read the eulogy during her funeral, you will have the opportunity to introduce her to the public. Remember that there might be people in the audience that did not know her well. You will have the opportunity to do so in an honorable way. For instance, if she was a mother, wife, aunt and so on, include that in the first paragraph of the eulogy.
Include short stories
As you embark on writing a eulogy for your aunt, you have the opportunity to tell stories about her. It is understandable that you are angry or even hurting from your loss. However, you have the responsibility to eulogize and commemorate your aunt, just as she was. Therefore, do not shy away from telling your favorite stories of her. For instance, aunts are well known for the advice they give us in life. Well, if you ever had a problem and she was there to help you, you can tell this story in the eulogy.
You can also ask your grandparents or other relatives about your aunt’s childhood memories. Well, her siblings will definitely have a lot of these memories. However, since you cannot include all the stories, ensure that the ones you select also go hand in hand with the chosen theme.
Practice the eulogy
Once you have written the eulogy for your aunt, you should practice reading the eulogy with a friend or a relative, This way, you will be able to punctuate the eulogy as well as edit it to perfection. Remember that you will be delivering the latter in front of a big audience. Furthermore, when practicing it, you will be able to correct any mistakes and add any left out details. Your friend or relative will be able to tell give you feedback about the eulogy.
The more conversant you are with the eulogy, the easier it is going to be for you to deliver it at the funeral service.
Once you have already written and practiced the eulogy, you should now get ready to deliver it in the form of an audience at the funeral service. It is not going to be exactly easy to deliver a eulogy for your aunt at the funeral. However, if you are the one who wrote it, you should have practiced it as well. This way you will not have much trouble reading it to the audience.
When delivering the eulogy, ensure that you have already set the tone and mood of the eulogy. Well, a sad mood can move you and the audience to tears, which is not exactly advisable. Based on the theme you choose, how you deliver the eulogy will determine the mood of the entire funeral service. Therefore, we are going to give you the tips to deliver eulogy effectively:
This should actually start when you are preparing the eulogy for your aunt. Keep in mind that the eulogy is not for you but for your audience. This means that the tone and mood of the eulogy should directly be associated with the audience. What do you want them to feel as you read each sentence? In fact, do not deliver the eulogy by reading word for word as it might come out as boring and as formal as a speech.
Maintain eye contact
This is usually the hardest part of delivering the eulogy. As much as the theme is celebratory or jovial, the truth is, you are still in grief. Therefore, maintaining eye contact with the audience is not going to be easy, but it is necessary. However, if at all you are feeling sad and probably teary, you can simply avoid eye contact with specific people. Instead, focus on your speech and give it short pauses.
Take it slow
Once you stand on the podium to deliver a eulogy, you might be tempted to read it all out and be done with it. However, as mentioned earlier, the eulogy is for the audience and not for you. Therefore, include short pauses to give the audience a chance to digest each line.
Read it out slowly to avoid bubbling words, which will leave the audience wondering about what you are saying.
Have a backup speaker
Are you worried that you are going to be emotional when delivering the eulogy? If so, then you should have a backup speaker. It is understandable that you might not be able to deliver the eulogy when you are emotional. After all, there is no point in reading out the eulogy between sobs. It can be embarrassing and also very ineffective.
Have someone else who will be ready to take over should you become emotional at the funeral service. This will get rid of any inconveniences when delivering the eulogy.
Take deep breaths before you speak
Deep breathing exercises are important when you are preparing to read out the eulogy. These will help you relax and also eliminate the chances of you breaking down in tears. Well, this might happen severally when you are standing in front of the congregation. However, it is important to remember that the people at the funeral service are there to offer their support.
Take deep breaths to clear your mind. You will also be able to calm your nerves when you are looking to deliver the eulogy. This way, you will appear calm and collected throughout the whole process.
The task of writing and reading out a eulogy is not usually an easy one. However, if you have been given this role, it means that you most probably shared a close relationship with your aunt. Therefore take it as an opportunity to celebrate and commemorate her. Therefore, do not panic, instead, do your research, ask around the family members about some of their favorite memories. This will give you an insight into what theme to for, as well as the stories to share with the audience.
When delivering the eulogy for your aunt, remain calm and collected. Ensure that you connect with the audience by giving short pauses as you read out the eulogy. In addition, maintain eye contact with them every now. Avoid reading the eulogy word for word, especially when you are sharing stories and fondest memories of your aunt with the audience.
And finally, remember that you do not have to be perfect when reading out the eulogy. In fact, it is okay to allow yourself a moment to feel the present. If you are getting emotional, pause for a bit and take a deep breath to relax. This way, you will be able to successfully deliver the eulogy in honor of your beloved aunt.