Delivering a eulogy is a profound and heartfelt way to pay tribute to a loved one that has passed away. It is often an opportunity to celebrate their life, share cherished memories, and it can also be a way to provide comfort and support to those who are grieving. Putting together a meaningful eulogy can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, you can create a tribute that’s really special. Many people feel that they would be unable to speak at a service or funeral, and that in itself can be a challenge – but it can also be really liberating. Of Course you don’t always have to read the eulogy yourself, the celebrant, family member or friend could do that for you.
Before you start to put the eulogy together it’s a good idea to consider your tone. Reflective, celebratory, or a mix of both. Think about what best suits the person you are honouring. A good starting point is to collect some stories, or facts about the person that you will be talking about. If you have been nominated by your family, or indeed you’re the only person that will be talking, it might be an idea to gather stories or sentiments from other family members and friends to add as well. Like any story, it’s good to have an introduction, several main points, and a conclusion. Each main point can cover different aspects of the person’s life.
Begin with a warm and concise introduction. Introduce yourself if necessary, mention your relationship to the deceased and if it’s appropriate express gratitude to those in attendance.
Next, you might want to share some personal anecdotes or stories that highlight your loved one’s character, values, and unique qualities. You can mention their achievements and accomplishments; personal, professional, or community-related. If there is time, you can talk about the impact they had on others as well as yourself. Mention shared experiences or passions that brought joy and fulfillment to the departed. It could be a hobby, a love for travel, or a dedication to a cause. Reflect on your loved one’s strengths and positive qualities, such as kindness, generosity, resilience, or their sense of humour. When many people write a eulogy they use a timeline; start with a short section about their childhood and work through their life.
As the eulogy comes to an end, it is often nice to finish with a quote, short poem or verse that reflects that person.
Some tips for crafting and delivering a eulogy are as follows: –
• Practice and rehearse: It’s essential to practice your eulogy to ensure it flows smoothly and is well-timed. Rehearsing can also help to manage emotions during the delivery – however, no-one would think any less of you if you were to take a few moments to compose yourself whilst you’re delivering it. Taking deep breaths and pausing when necessary can help you regain your focus. Some people find it useful to hold something small in their hand, like a paperclip, while speaking in public to focus nervous energy on.
• Stay true to your voice. Be authentic in your delivery. Your eulogy should reflect your feelings and your unique relationship with the deceased.
• Seek feedback. If possible, share your eulogy with a trusted friend or family member for feedback. They can provide valuable insights and support.
• Keep it concise: A eulogy doesn’t need to be lengthy. Aim for a duration of about 5 – 10 minutes.
Good luck and if in doubt, try recording yourself. That way, you can see how long it takes to read it out ,and listening to it later on may help to decide if you need to make any changes.
And remember, everyone wants you to succeed, and I’m sure that your loved one would be really pleased and proud that you took the time to put something together for them.