How To Write A Eulogy

A final eulogy is a way to express grief, to say goodbye and to recount memorable events in the deceased’s life, and help friends and family remember them.  This eulogy guide is designed to help you gather your intial thoughts.  Each eulogy is as unique as your loved one — work to create one as personal, intimate and special just for them.

Some areas to consider:

  • How do you know this person? How long have you known them?
  • What were their hobbies? Did you share any of these hobbies together? If you did, doyou have a story to share?
  • What were some of the positive attributes about the person?  Do you have a story about one time when you saw this attribute in action?
  • What do they like to do? What did they not like to do?
  • Do you have a special memory you would like to share?
  • Did they have a favorite saying or motto on life?
  • Did they have an achievement they were particularly proud of?
  • Did you relationship with them change you in any way?
  • What do you think their lasting effect on the world will be?
  • What is the one thing that you would like to say about them?

FOCUS

Talk to other people and think through some of the topics on your own.  When you sit down to write, consider a focus:

Their Life Story
This type should be used if the majority of the audience knows the person from the latter part of their life. Where were they born? Did they get married, have children?  Where did they live? This type of eulogy would tell the story of   their childhood, any special awards they won, and major accomplishments as an adult.

Personal Accomplishments
This type of eulogy would be for an audience that is close to family and friends.  The accomplishments would be focused on areas that directly affected the audience.  For example, if they were a devoted grandmother and her grandchildren were present — this type of eulogy would focus on her devotion. If they especially enjoyed the holidays, then this area would be described.

Personal Stories
This type of eulogy focuses on personal stories between you (or other family members and friends) of the deceased.  This is usually light-hearted and sometimes funny.

TIPS

Once you have answered some general questions and picked a focus, use these tips to get you started writing:
  1. Tone:  You may want to check with family members to determine if the service is formal, casual, religious or secular. Your tone should match the tone of the service.
  2. Compile:  Organize the information that you have written according to the focus of the eulogy.
  3. Be Concise and Organized: Check with the funeral organizer about how long the eulogy should be. Typically, they are between 5 and 15 minutes.
  4. Rehearse

ORGANIZATION

Opening Statement: It is important to identify yourself and your relationship to the deceased.  The opening statement will tell the audience the direction you are goign to take.

Briefly Explain the Theme
: Expand on the theme or focus and how the deceased affected your life.

Tell the Story
:  This can either be a personal story that you share, or one that a family member shared with you.  The story should be reflective of your theme and will be the general “message” of your eulogy.

Summarize
:  This can serve as your conclusion and no new information should be introduced at this point.

Poem,Quote, Video Tribute or Song
:  Share a poem, quote, etc. that you think is reflective of their life.  This is often a beautiful finishing touch.
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