Writing and delivering a eulogy is no easy thing to do. Often it happens too soon after people lose their loved ones - and so people need to organize their thoughts and to choose the right words while coping with the grief at the same time.
It might be hard to come up with a good eulogy under these circumstances. That’s why today we want to offer you five tips on how to write a eulogy for a friend or for a family member, making it touching and meaningful.
1. Make it brief
The longer a eulogy is, the higher are the chances that the person will struggle with delivering it. One can start rambling or crying, making the others feel uncomfortable - which is definitely not the goal of delivering a eulogy.
You can ask the officiants about how much time you’ll have to deliver your speech, but most likely it’ll be around five minutes.
One of the easiest ways to make your eulogy brief and memorable at the same time is to focus it on only one or two specific qualities of a person that passed. You could either talk about those qualities or share a story that would help represent them.
If you’re delivering a eulogy on behalf of yourself, you should focus on personal stories or on something you witnessed. However, if you still struggle with them, ask other people for ideas. Also, write an outline - it’ll help you ensure that your eulogy is well-structured and includes all you need.
2. Keep it personal
How to write a eulogy for a father that everyone will remember? Definitely not by simply listing things he liked. While this does show you knew him well, this isn’t as touching, interesting, and memorable as personal stories.
So instead of saying that he loved cars and TV shows, share some stories related to those cars and TV shows. Try to pick the ones that are really interesting and that show your father in good light. You could also ask someone else close to your father to share those stories with you.
And, of course, such approach could (and should) be applied not only to your father but to any other member of the family or to close friend.
3. Keep it positive
Any eulogy should be focused on the positive things. Even if a person delivering this eulogy had some troubles or unresolved conflict with the person that passed, bringing this up at a funeral definitely won’t be a good thing to do.
Keep in mind that many people present here are mourning the person that passed and definitely don’t want to hear something ill about that person. And if the person did lead a troubled life, they probably know that already.
Keep this in mind and do your best to avoid negativity in your eulogy.
4. Ensure that it’s written
Some people learn how to write a eulogy for a mother, a father, or a friend only to decide that they don’t actually need to write it - they can come up with it right at the funeral or simply memorize it before one. After all, it’s not an essay and you aren’t an essay writer - why should you do all the writing and printing in that case?
However, writing your eulogy is very important - and not only because someone at a funeral would want to have a copy of it. A written and printed copy will help you deliver a speech and to ensure that you won’t forget something.
Because even if you do your best to memorize the speech, there’s a chance you’ll forget a couple of details or get emotional, get distracted from the speech, and will struggle with remembering when did you stop. Therefore, always make a printed copy and use a double-space interval to ensure that it would be easy for you to follow the lines.
5. Keep it conversational
You might know how to write a eulogy for a grandmother or for any other family member or a friend - but still worry that you won’t be able to deliver it right because you are afraid to speak in public. That’s a common fear; however, most of us do speak well in front of the other people we know if this happens on a daily basis or if the situation calls for it.
One of the best ways to make it more easier for you is to pick a conversational tone for your eulogy, just as if you were talking to your friend. Speak slowly, so anyone could understand you well enough and don’t forget to look at the listeners from time to time, making eye contact with them. This could help you make your eulogy sound more like an informal conversation, which would be best, knowing the situation. Moreover, this would make it easier for you.
However, maintaining eye contact is not a rule. There are people who get too emotional when looking at their audience. In that case, it might be better for you to focus on your speech sheet instead of your audience.
Now you know how to write a eulogy for a loved one. Don’t forget the editing part, take a glass of water with you, and don’t feel too self-conscious if you still need to make a small pause to compose yourself.