Writing and delivering a eulogy for your loved one is a heartfelt way to participate in the funeral service. A eulogy will give you the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the meaning and importance of a life once lived. Eulogies also remind the deceased’s family and friends of priceless memories and a legacy that’s been left behind. Handling the death of a loved one, the funeral service, and also penning and delivering a eulogy can be incredibly stressful. But a funeral service will have one of the most forgiving audiences in attendance. Take it from Wojcik’s Funeral Chapel & Crematorium, you do not have to be a trained speaker to write and deliver a successful eulogy.
What is the best way to plan and execute a eulogy?
It can be challenging to know where to start when you are planning a eulogy. One of the easiest ways to get started that will most resonate with your loved one’s family and friends is to start with your stories and memories of the deceased. Sit down with other family members and talk about your memories. Sharing stories of the one who has passed away can be therapeutic and bring your family closer in the face of a tragedy. Plus, sharing stories and memories is also a great way to brainstorm ideas for your eulogy. Consider writing down any quotes or anecdotes about your loved one that you hear.
Next, you’ll want to brainstorm for the eulogy. During this stage of the planning process, you’ll want to jot down your stories, perspectives, and memories of the deceased. Consider memories around music, food, and family traditions. Pick stories and images that are the most representative of the personality of the one who’s passed.
How can selecting a theme help you write a eulogy?
Picking a theme will help you tie together your personal stories of the deceased, other loved one’s memories of them, and also help to represent the personality of your loved one. A theme can bring unity and clarity to your eulogy.
Where a lot of people have trouble with a eulogy is they may try to make sense of death or provide another profound insight within the tribute. This puts way too much pressure on you at a time when you are most stressed. The audience at a funeral won’t expect this of you. The eulogy is meant to acknowledge the life and legacy of the deceased, not to try and rationalize the random cruelty of death and loss.
Delivering a eulogy is the perfect time to acknowledge that it’s okay to be sad, hurt, and even angry about the loss of your loved one. A eulogy is a way to bring everyone together in support and remembrance of the person who is gone. Your themes can center around something like the following:
- “Who was the deceased? They were a caring and dedicated mother, friend, or sister.”
- “What makes a grandmother special? Supporting her family and holding it together in times of adversity.”
- “Where would our community be if it weren’t for the deceased? Our loved one created charity events and drives for homeless children.”
Themes like the above answer questions, and then tell stories centered around the loved one’s contributions to their family and community. You could use other themes such as:
- “Our Nana was the embodiment of courage in difficult, trying times.”
- “Dad will live on through his legacy.”
- “I can thank Mom for . . .”
Other themes you can use that will help facilitate telling stories about your loved one can be something like the following:
- “Grandma’s kitchen was the heart of our family.”
- “My Dad was a quiet man who showed his love for us through his actions.”
- “Mom taught us the importance of following our dreams.”
Another technique that can help you come up with a theme and structure for your eulogy is to check out resources for prayers, devotionals, or famous and profound quotes. Sometimes adding a poem or a quote to your tribute can give it some added perspective and help tie into other stories.
Delivering a eulogy is an honor. Your family and friends will not expect an award-winning speech or profound insights. Heartfelt sincerity and using the eulogy as safe space to express the grief of those left behind will go a long way to helping you plan and deliver a eulogy.