The responsibility of writing a eulogy can feel overwhelming and stressful during what is already an emotional time. Finding the words to showcase someone's life and then deliver the speech is a challenging combination.
To help this process easier, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to write a eulogy for a loved one.
What is a eulogy?
A eulogy is a piece of writing which pays tribute to a loved one who has passed away. They are typically written by a close family member and read aloud at a funeral service. Key components of a eulogy include reflecting on the deceased, their life and their impact on those around them.
Who gives a Eulogy at a funeral?
There is no hard and fast rule about who gives a eulogy at a funeral. Typically, it is the responsibility of the person closest to the deceased. For example, it might be a spouse, eldest child, parent or sibling. However, if the person who passed has no surviving family members, it may be a close friend, or if the family is overwhelmed, they may request a priest, minister or celebrant, to give the eulogy instead.
How to write a eulogy
When writing a eulogy, there are a few essential factors to consider. Typically, funeral directors will allocate a specific time during the funeral service for the eulogy, which is usually no more than ten minutes.
These tips will help you plan your eulogy so you feel confident honouring your loved one.
When in charge of writing the eulogy, make sure to give yourself time. Writing the speech last-minute could make the situation more stressful, especially if you haven’t had time to practice it or get nervous with public speaking.
Before you write your eulogy, take time to speak with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours of the deceased to ask questions and swap stories. You can then build that information into your eulogy, so everyone feels connected to your speech.
During your eulogy, take the time to focus on the person's positive traits and positive memories. You should try to avoid dwelling on negative traits or judging the deceased. While not everyone may agree, it’s a respectful way to say goodbye.
Tell a story
During the eulogy, take the time to draw on a personal anecdote that you experienced with the person who passed that others in the room might relate to. It could be a story highlighting a trait that everyone knew that person for or one about their career.
Giving a speech is already a stressful experience for some people, let alone a eulogy in front of a room of grieving people. To make the experience easier, use these tips on how to write a eulogy for your loved ones.