How to write a Eulogy. That is the big question, right? One of our main writers is going to take a look at this subject and give you some guidance.
You only have one chance to get it right. The memorable words that you have to use are of vital importance. So please get it right.
Jo will now take you through the basics of how to write a great eulogy but is only a short guide.
Being entrusted to write a eulogy can seem daunting but at the same time, it is a privilege. It gives you the chance to say your last word to the deceased during the funeral service.
It also gives one the chance to help the audience remember the deceased and probably let them know something about the deceased they didn’t know. However, a eulogy is developed between the time of death and the funeral of the deceased.
During this time, there is a chance that you are going through a turmoil of emotions as you are also grieving. Writing an effective eulogy will require you to organize your thoughts. Below are tips on how to write a eulogy;
1. Keep it short and precise.
There can only be so much you may want to share about the deceased but it is important to keep the eulogy short. In most cases, eulogies are written by a close relative or friend, which means they must have known the deceased well. However, remember that you will have limited time to deliver the eulogy, which is why it is important to stick to specific details.
You may consider talking to the funeral organizer to know how much time you will have. This way you will know the details to include and the ones to leave out.
Usually, the eulogy will be allocated 3-5 minutes of the service and during this time, you have to capture the audience’s attention and make them know a little bit about the deceased, maybe something few people knew about. You may consider sharing a specific memory with the deceased that relates to their personality.
2. Focus on positivity.
It does not matter whether the deceased had an ugly personality or not. It is not your job to tell the audience about it. Instead, it is better to celebrate their positive traits in the eulogy. In case you didn’t get to spend a lot of time with the deceased, you may consider talking to different people from their families to gain some insight of who they used to be.
Keeping the eulogy positive will help minimize the grieve of the audience, unlike talking about their troubled life. The eulogy paints a picture of who the deceased used to be in the audience’s minds, even those people who didn’t know them well. It is only right to make them see the deceased in a positive light.
3. Develop a Theme.
Like any other form of writing, a eulogy needs a theme, what do you want the audience to feel? You can set a theme by sharing some of your best memories with the deceased. During a funeral, people come together to grieve and celebrate the life of the deceased, even people who didn’t know them so well.
Do you want to make them feel better? Shining a light on the deceased’s personality and beliefs will catch the audience’s attention and make them feel better. You can also set the tone of the service through sharing how the deceased passed away. For instance,
if you are giving a eulogy for your grandmother who passed away in old age, you may want to be more celebratory than sad. However, do not offend or shock your audience.
4. Include the deceased’s Biography.
A eulogy is not a biography but when you are writing one, you may consider introducing the deceased to the audience. Let your audience know a little bit of who the deceased was and what they meant to the society.
This is not to try and make meaning of their death but it is about celebrating their life. For instance, you can include details like their full name, date of birth, education and their achievements. You may also relate to special memories and occasions like their graduation, wedding and family life.
5. Proofread and edit.
Once you are sure you have included all the details in the eulogy, it is time to proofread it. This is important as you don’t want to include the wrong information. You can seek help from a close relative when close-checking the information to make sure that everything is accurate, and the humor and the tone are set correctly.
As much as you may want to include everything about the deceased in a eulogy, it is impossible to summarize someone’s life in a speech. Do not pressure yourself to include everything other things about the deceased in the eulogy. Do not be the judge of character in the eulogy even if the deceased had a lot of unpleasant qualities or you had your grudges with them.
Instead, it is advisable to leave out these details and remain respectful in their remembrance. Also, don’t jump from one story to the other. It is very important to choose specific things that you want to talk about in a concise manner. Don’t be afraid of including poetry if it helps deliver your message in a better way.
keep in mind that you are creating the last of the deceased’s memories in the eulogy. This being said, you might want to paint a positive image as well as help ease the sadness and grief at the funeral service.
Sharing happy memories and stories about the deceased is advisable but remember not to put emphasis on the cause of death, old disagreements, and grudges. If the death of the deceased was tragic and disturbing do not speak of it in an offensive or shocking way. Including humor in the eulogy is okay but make sure it is appropriate to do so.
As much as you may want to put down everything you feel, remember that you will have to read it out to an audience and so make sure that it will not be too mushy for you as you may end up crying uncontrollably while reading it making it uncomfortable for everyone.
Lastly, be honest with yourself and think of the audience when putting down a eulogy. Do not lie about anything, you would rather not talk about something if it is hard to talk about.