Summarizing someone’s life in a short speech is an awesome responsibility, especially in the midst of dealing with your own grief. Having a plan of action when preparing a eulogy can ease anxiety, and help the writer clearly communicate a meaningful message that honors the memory of their loved one. Following these steps can help guide you through how to write a good eulogy.
Research and gather information
- Gather biographical details such as where the person was born, where they grew up, nicknames, and family members.
- Interview close friends and family members of the deceased to learn more about their lives. You’ll want to include significant life events and accomplishments, favorite stories, unique hobbies/interests, and personality traits. These details will help paint a picture of who the person was, and what made them special.
- Write down your own memories of the deceased. Adding your own memories and stories will help make your eulogy more personal and meaningful.
Organize your information
- Combine all the information you have collected into one list, and go through and decide what you would like to include.
- Write a general outline of what you want to share, and organize it into sections. You may want to share biographical details first, followed by stories, memories, and unique qualities of the individual, followed by closing remarks. Be sure to show gratitude in your closing. Share your gratitude for the person you are eulogizing and thank those in attendance for being there to celebrate their life.
Speak from the Heart
- As you write your eulogy, be genuine and speak from the heart. The best eulogies are personal, not formal. Write in your own style, in your own words. Remember that this is a celebration of the person’s life, not just a biographical speech. As you write, reflect on what the person meant to you, and that will convey in your eulogy.
- It can be helpful to get feedback from others after writing your eulogy. Reading it aloud to someone will help you gauge the appropriateness of the length, and whether it flows well. After reading it aloud, you can go back and edit it until it feels right to you.
- Use humor. It is ok to be light and use humor in a eulogy, as long as you remain respectful, and keep your audience in mind.
- Consider using a theme to weave your content together. Theme examples could be the impact the deceased had on the lives of others, lessons you learned from them, overcoming challenges, or specific values they held dear.
- Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself. There is no right or wrong way to write a eulogy, and every eulogy is unique. Your main goal is to honor the deceased by sharing details and stories from their lives, and what they meant to the people around them.
- Writing a eulogy can bring up many emotions and feelings. It is important to pace yourself as you write, and take breaks as needed.
Writing a eulogy can actually be a cathartic experience, as it can actually help you process your grief. Following these steps and tips can help you to get organized, take things a step at a time, and write a good eulogy that honors your loved one, and comforts those grieving with you.
In all of this, seeking the support you need is an important priority. Found & Sons has resources for grief and healing to help you cope during this difficult time.