Giving a meaningful, moving eulogy can be an emotional experience for even the most accomplished public speaker. How can you summarize somebody’s life in a few short minutes, while being both authentic and funny at the same time? Writing and delivering a eulogy is a therapeutic tool to help deal with your grief, and being chosen to give a eulogy is an honor. Here are some tips for writing and delivering an eloquent and memorable eulogy.
- Gather information. Talk with family members, close friends, and coworkers to gather important information on the deceased. Include the family and other close relationships, education/career, hobbies or special interests, places they lived or traveled and any special accomplishments they had.
- Organize your thoughts. Jot down your ideas by whatever means are most comfortable and familiar to you. Create an outline of your speech, and fill in the information that you gathered about the person.
- Write it down. This is not a toast at a wedding where you can make off-the-cuff remarks. You don’t want to adlib a eulogy. Writing it all down allows you to include and remember every detail you want. When you bring a copy of your eulogy to the podium, make sure it is easy to read. Print it out in a large font, or if it handwritten, leave a few spaces between the lines. Keep in mind your time constraints. It’s best to keep things on the short side, especially if there are other speakers.
- Review and revise. Your first draft will not be the last. When you think you are done, sleep on it and look it over in the morning when it is fresh again, that will be the time to make any necessary revisions.
- Practice, practice, practice. Read over your eulogy several times in order to become familiar with it. Practice in front of a mirror, read it over to some friends or family, and have them give you feedback. Become familiar with your speech so you can recite it without making it look like you’re reading from a script. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be.
- Make them laugh, but be respectful. A funeral is not a roast. However, there is room for humor in your eulogy. Fondly remember a story about the person to which others can relate. Keep it appropriate; there will be children and elderly people there who may not share the same sense of humor. Some say laughter is the best medicine. Well-placed humor will help people cope and bring back fond memories of the deceased.
- Don’t be afraid to show emotion. Funerals are an extremely emotional event. Others expect that you may shed a few tears. However, if you feel that your emotions will too strongly overcome you, have a backup plan in place where someone you trust can deliver the eulogy for you. Give them a copy well in advance if you feel this could be an issue.
- Have a glass of water as well as tissues handy.
Writing an obituary is a difficult and emotional task. First, you will need to gather information from family and friends of the deceased about their childhood, education, career and hobbies, and interests. Also, speak to the funeral home to receive important information on the date, time, and location of any funeral service or other funeral-related events. Using the template will help make the process easier and ensure you write a comprehensive obituary.
Instructions: Replace all items in ITALICS below with the appropriate information.
NAME, AGE, of TOWN, passed away on DAY, DATE, YEAR at PLACE. Please take a moment and share a kind thought or memory with his/her family at andersonbethany.com. or visit us on Facebook.
Visitation/Viewing will be TIME on DAY, DATE at (Anderson Bethany Funeral Home). Funeral service will be held at TIME on DAY, DATE at PLACE with the Clergy/Celebrant WHO is officiating.
On (Born DATE) he/she was born to FATHER and MOTHER in TOWN. NAME was a graduate of WHAT High School. He/She attended (NAME OF UNIVERSITY). He/She joined in the US Military) DATES.
He/She married WHO, on DATE, who survives at home/preceded him/her in death.
He/She retired as an OCCUPATION from EMPLOYER after NUMBER years of service.
He/She was a member of ORGANIZATION.
He/She enjoyed HOBBY.
He/She is survived by NUMBER children: NAME, of TOWN; NUMBER grandchildren: NAME, of TOWN. NAME; as well as his/her siblings, NAME, of TOWN.
He/she was preceded in death by his/her parents; John or Jane.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the donor’s favorite charity.
His/Her tribute was beautifully written his/her honor by his/her family.
Remember most newspapers charge by the word, this template is good for getting all the information necessary in as few words possible. However, this template can be changed based on what you feel is essential.