At a funeral, a eulogy is a speech used to commemorate a person’s life, and to say goodbye. This speech is often delivered by a close friend, family member or loved one, paying tribute to the person who has died.
A lot of people say that they struggle when it comes to writing a eulogy, as it can be hard to put a person’s life into words. Here, we wanted to provide some helpful advice on how to write a eulogy, including some tips for structuring the speech, as well as some thoughts on when it comes to delivering it.
How to write a eulogy?
When starting to write the eulogy about your loved one, it is important to think about the following points:
- What made them special to you? What were their defining characteristics?
- Can you think of any key memories – perhaps family trips, or professional achievements?
- How did they impact the lives of people around them?
Remember that when it comes to writing the eulogy, you’re not on your own. Speak to other people who knew them, including siblings, friends, family members, or colleagues. Ask them to share times they enjoyed, or things that the person was proud of. These are all wonderful points to include in your speech.
Our best advice is to keep things simple. Don’t feel like you have to write an elaborate introduction – people know who you are and why you’re there. Focus on the key points you want to say, and structure your speech around those.
When it comes to structuring the eulogy there are a few things to consider:
- What tone do you want to take? Do you want it to be a serious recollection of their life, or do you want to keep things light-hearted?
- Think about their personality here – what would they have wanted?
- What do you want to cover?
- It often makes sense to split the eulogy up into sections; perhaps start with their childhood and then work through, or start with your most recent memories and work backwards.
- Who are you speaking to?
- Some people like to address their friends and family, but it can also be a really nice idea to write a letter to your loved one and speak directly to them.
Over recent years, the popularity of poetry being used in the place of a eulogy has risen significantly. In fact, ⅓ people now favour this over a written speech, finding that poetry can better represent how they feel about their loved one. There are a huge number of poems which deal with the themes of loss and bereavement which can perfectly capture the feelings of grief, whilst providing some comfort to those who have experienced the loss. Popular favourites include ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep’ by Mary Elizabeth Frye, ‘Remember’ by Christina Rossetti and ‘Funeral Blues’ by W.H. Auden.
Delivering the eulogy
Before you deliver the eulogy on the day, try to do a practice run out loud. This helps you get familiar with the words, and will make you feel more confident. It’s natural to feel emotional on the day itself, so having done some practice run-throughs will help to keep you calm when it comes to delivering.
It can also be wise to have a backup person in mind, in case you change your mind about delivering the eulogy. This is nothing to be ashamed of – everyone grieves in their own way; the important thing is supporting each other at this time of need.
While writing a eulogy can feel like a big responsibility, try to remember that this is a chance to remember your loved one – and to share the highlights of their life with gathered family and friends.
If you need any support or would like any further information about our products or funeral care, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re always happy to help. You can find our contact details here, or alternatively call our Rainham branch on 01634 232700, our Rochester branch on 01634 818120, our Strood branch on 01634 295552 or our Twydall branch on 01634 262690. We look forward to hearing from you.