When a loved one passes away, it can seem like a huge feat to condense all of the beautiful memories and experiences you shared with them throughout their lifetime. Whilst it is a huge honour to hold the responsibility of eulogising your loved one, it can feel as though you’re facing a challenge when trying to fit all you would like to say into one 10-minute speech.
Instead of feeling as though you are reciting an encyclopedia, highlighting the experiences and memories that matter most can create a speech that is both emotional and celebrates all your loved one had to offer.
Below, we have highlighted some of our best recommendations when it comes to writing a eulogy, written in partnership with The Elms Funeral Directors, providers of funeral plans Somerset.
Firstly, What is a Eulogy?
A eulogy is essentially a remembrance speech with the purpose of paying your respects and tributing a loved one. Typically, a eulogy will be made at a funeral or memorial service.
An impactful eulogy will highlight the impact a person had on their family and others around them.
How to Write an Unforgettable Eulogy?
When writing a eulogy, remember that you can include anything you believe is important. You may choose to keep it strictly fact-based and in chronological order with a small personal note, or perhaps you’d rather include lots of personal anecdotes and stories that truly encompass your loved one.
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Often, lighthearted anecdotes are a good way to make the assembly feel at ease. If you believe that a story is appropriate, as someone close to the person who passed away, you’re likely right.
It’s also important, when writing an effective eulogy, to speak with relatives, think about your own experiences, and give yourself lots of time to write and edit. There is definitely no one size fits all approach to writing an eulogy, as every person is unique.
What to Include?
The final decision of what you include in a eulogy is down to you. However, you may wish to include:
- When and where they were born,
- The names of their close family,
- How they met their partner,
- Their favourite poem, song or quotes,
- Acknowledgements of guests,
- Notable achievements.
How Long Should a Eulogy Be?
Normally, a eulogy will range anywhere between a couple of minutes to ten minutes. Some funeral venues will allocate you a specific time period for a funeral, so your funeral director will be able to advise you on how long your eulogy should last.
Remember to Practice
Once you have determined what you want to include in the eulogy, it is a good idea to practice. Public speaking is something that many struggle with, so you are definitely not on your own.
Try reading it out to a loved one, or simply just out loud on your own.
This will give you time to work out how long the eulogy will last and whether there is anything you’d like to either add or omit.
On the Day
On the day of giving your eulogy, remember to speak slowly. Everyone who has attended will be keen to hear the words you have spent so long preparing, so make sure to pause for thought often.
There may be parts within the eulogy where it is appropriate to pause for a moment of silence and contemplation, or perhaps one story, in particular, may make everyone laugh.
Finally, remember that dealing with emotions when giving a eulogy is normal. Don’t it scare you; when the guests see you experiencing the same feelings they are, they will feel connected to you and the words you are speaking.