If you will be delivering the eulogy for a loved one, we’re here to help.
It may feel like an overwhelming task and you may be unsure about how to go about it, but sharing a loving tribute to the one who passed on is a great honor indeed. The eulogy serves as a personal tribute, summing up the key events of the departed’s life and the many attributes that made him or her so special. If you’ve been asked to talk about the life of your loved one, here are nine suggestions to help you create and deliver a remarkable eulogy.
Start by getting organized.
Before you begin writing the eulogy, brainstorm ideas for points you want to include. Then, compile the stories and gather supporting materials for your speech. This could include biographical information about the departed, such as their date and place of birth; names of relatives; date of marriage; educational and career information; etc. Incorporate your loved one’s life achievements, talents, hobbies, and passions. Also discuss special traits and qualities, such as being smart, generous, funny, etc. Think about all of the things that made your loved one so exceptional. Organize your ideas by putting them into an outline and review it to ensure that it follows a logical flow.
Tell a story.
Audiences tend to connect with stories better than boring facts and figures. Sharing anecdotes during your eulogy will help attendees to relate to the departed and will give them greater insight into the kind of person he or she was. Don’t forget to talk with close friends and family members about their special memories of the deceased. They may also have some interesting or humorous stories you could use and they will appreciate being included.
Keep it positive.
A eulogy is more than just a list of great qualities of the deceased. It’s also a chance to share fond stories of his or her life with friends and family members. Don’t dwell on the negative. Stick to the happy and uplifting.
Be mindful of the clock.
A page or two will likely be sufficient to share some fond memories but depends on how close you were with the deceased and how many accounts you wish to share. If you will be the only speaker, your tribute could run a bit longer; if there will be several eulogists, it’s best to keep it on the shorter side. There’s no specific time limit on a eulogy but keep in mind that this it’s just one part of the funeral or memorial service. Strive to keep your speech to three to five minutes.
Include an appropriate closing.
The best eulogies end with words of comfort and a final goodbye. You might start this section by talking about the lessons the departed taught you and how he or she impacted your life. Close your eulogy by saying goodbye to your loved one in a way that is meaningful to you.
Practice makes perfect.
You may have butterflies in your stomach when you deliver the eulogy. That’s perfectly natural and should be expected, even if you are accustomed to public speaking and have good presentation skills. It’s also possible that you will feel emotional while delivering your eulogy. You’ll feel more confident if you practice your speech beforehand. Repetition will help you memorize your words, which will be a big advantage if you become nervous or emotional. Practice by reading the eulogy aloud to yourself and then to a family member or friend to get their constructive feedback.
Bring your notes with you.
Have a copy of your speech with you in case your mind goes momentarily blank. Write your notes in large type so you can refer to them quickly and easily. Your eulogy will come across as more genuine and heartfelt if you don’t read it word for word from a piece of paper. Try to make eye contact with your audience from time to time.
Speak slowly and enunciate.
Your audience may not know the departed the way you do, so they will be likely be hanging on your every word. Although you may be nervous, try to speak slowly and enunciate so that those in attendance can understand what you’re saying. This will allow them to join you in reflecting upon the cherished memories you’re sharing.
You were chosen to deliver the eulogy because you had a very special relationship with the one who passed on. Let it shine through the tribute you share. Perfection doesn’t matter, so talk with the audience as you would with your friends. Be yourself and your speech will come across as genuine, loving, and memorable.
How blessed you are to be chosen for this awesome responsibility. You get the last word in sharing the life of your loved one! It’s a wonderful gift that you will surely cherish for the rest of your days.
If you’re having trouble finding the right words for your loved one’s eulogy, our compassionate funeral directors are here to help. Please reach out to us anytime.
About Evan W. Smith Funeral Services: Since 2009, residents of Wilmington, Dover, and the surrounding Delaware community have relied on the caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services to help them through their darkest hours. Family-owned and operated, the company offers an array of elite funeral care services, including traditional funerals, cremations, memorials, pre-planning, and more. With decades of experience in caring for families from all cultural backgrounds and diverse walks of life, Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is committed to creating memorable, uplifting experiences that always exceed expectations. For more information, please visit www.ewsmithfs.com.