Writing a fitting eulogy
“The song is ended, but the melody lingers on…” – (Irving Berlin)
Most funeral services include a eulogy where a friend or relative says a few inspiring words about the deceased. It’s the ideal opportunity to say a poignant farewell and helps celebrate the life of your loved one.
Of course, writing and delivering a eulogy can seem a bit daunting. During a time of grief and upset, it’s difficult to know exactly where to start. Some people prepare their own eulogy, others prefer to use a favourite poem or extract. Everyone has a uniquely individual approach.
As the poet Andrew Motion has said “Eulogies are for everyone. They are a reminder that each of us leads a life of special interest and value and that each of us is unique.”
If you feel you need help, we can offer you some guidance on writing an eulogy…
Top 5 tips for writing an effective eulogy:
Keep it brief. When we lose someone near to us we can easily be overwhelmed by a near ocean of memories about the times we spent together When asked to offer a eulogy at the deceased person’s funeral it may seem impossible to tell his or her story in a few short paragraphs but it’s best to keep whatever you have to say brief.
Remember it’s not your eulogy. Sometimes when put in the position of having to produce a eulogy the presenter gets lost in his or her own relationship with the deceased. While that may be quite understandable, that personalisation of the event isn’t necessarily what the congregation of mourners wants to hear.
Include some humour or something light. Part of providing a eulogy can be delivering a few words about the deceased that unite your audience in a warm, pleasant, maybe humorous remembrance.
Be inclusive. Prepare your remarks in advance by thinking about who is likely to be present and how you can include them somehow in your words
Help the deceased to speak. To somehow capture the real spirit or personality of the deceased in a few words isn’t easy but is the essence of a good eulogy.