How to Write a Eulogy

How to Write a Eulogy

People, who are asked to deliver a eulogy in honor to someone who'd passed, often experience a mix of whole different emotions. While writing a eulogy is a privilege, it could also look terrifying or too difficult. What to say when you feel crushed by sadness? How to honor a person in one speech when it feels like there's so much to say?

All this might seem overwhelming - but that's definitely not the reason to worry. Once you'll learn how to write a eulogy, you'll be able to handle this and honor a beloved person with your speech.

But first, let's talk about why you need to write a eulogy in the first place.

Why should you write a eulogy?

To some people it's not only the question how to write a eulogy for a father, a mother, or another beloved person - it's also the question why they should write it? It seems that giving farewells is a natural thing, so wouldn't it just be more natural to simply talk about the person instead of trying to compress their whole life in a speech that lasts for a couple of minutes only? In fact, organizing their feelings and thoughts into a speech might even seem offensive to some people, considering the circumstances.

However, that's not why people write eulogies. They do so because when you actually prepare the speech instead of improvising, it might actually be easier.

When you talk without any preparation, you could get overwhelmed by your emotions easily and start rambling or even crying. While it's natural at a funeral, it could distress everybody even more. That's the first reason why you should learn how to write a eulogy for a mother, a father, or any other person that was close to you.

The second reason why you should learn how to write a eulogy for a friend or for another person close to you is because that honors them - and gives everyone at a funeral an opportunity to distract from their grief and to cherish the person that was dear to them.

A good eulogy written with love and care is an act of appreciation of the person that passed, of their joys, strengths, and achievements. It's a reminder of why everyone present at a funeral loved that person, or why it is so hard to see that person passing, and of why it's so important to always keep this person in the minds and hearts of the people present here.

Therefore, you should do your best to deliver a proper eulogy. You don't have to be an essay writer or any other kind of writer to make the speech sound great - you just need to be sincere and follow this simple guide.

How to write a good eulogy?

1. Find out who are you writing for.

First, try to make clear who are you writing for. Maybe you'll speak for your whole family, maybe you'll be the only (or main) spokesperson or maybe some other people will talk as well.

When you speak for yourself, you can make the eulogy more personal. When you speak on behalf of other people as well, you need to be more careful and probably more generic.

2. Find out how much time do you have.

In general, a eulogy should last from 3 to 4 minutes. However, if you are unsure of that, you could always consult a person responsible for the service to know for sure. This way you'll definitely be able to fit your eulogy in a given time frame.

3. Decide on the tone.

Though it's a eulogy, being solemn is not a rule. You can be like that if you want - but you could also take a lighter tone and maybe even mention something humorous. You could also balance both of those things.

Keep in mind that there's no right or wrong tone for a eulogy. When picking a tone, think about your loved one: what would they want to hear? Consider the family and friends as well: for some the opportunity to laugh through tears could be relieving. For some, however, it might be inappropriate.

4. Think of what to include.

A eulogy usually has a simple structure:

  • first, you introduce yourself and explain who you were for the person that passed;
  • then you share some personal stories about that person;
  • then you can add whatever you want if you feel that it speaks true;

end with a conclusion: you could restate your main message or quote something from the body that helps end this in a nice and touching way.

5. Know what not to include.

This might be obvious, but it still worth reminding: while you need to be honest, you shouldn't focus on the negative aspects of person's life and character. You shouldn't expose any of the family secrets as well and avoid talking about religious differences or political opinions.

6. Make it personal.

If you're going to share personal things about the person, don't make them sound like facts - tell stories instead. This would feel more natural and touching to everyone's present - and that would be a good way to honor this person.

7. Ask people to share their stories as well.

If you're speaking on behalf of other people present, ask them to share their own stories with you so you could add them to the eulogy. Not only this will make it more diverse - this will also give these people an opportunity to participate in the speech.

8. Practice your eulogy.

Now that you know how to write a eulogy for a grandmother, for another family member or for a friend, you can move on to the writing itself. Try to finish it early, so you would have enough time for editing.

It's very important to edit and practice every speech, especially this one. This way you'll ensure that everything would be flawless and that you'll be able to deliver this speech as well as you can.

However, don't put too much responsibility on yourself. Remember that no one expects your eulogy to be flawless - everyone knows that it's hard for you. So even if something goes wrong while you'll be delivering your eulogy, don't panic and don't let it stop you. Keep a glass of water near, so you could drink some, catch your breath and continue.