Funerals are a time for remembrance and one of the best ways that you can share memories of your loved one as well as honour their life, is through a eulogy. Many people have very little experience with delivering a eulogy, or even writing a speech and delivering it in public. Here we will provide some easy to follow steps so that you can make the most of the opportunity to provide a meaningful eulogy to your loved one.
What is a eulogy?
A eulogy is a speech that is given at a funeral or a memorial service, paying tribute to the person’s life and sharing memories, stories and personal thoughts.
Gathering your thoughts and memories
The days and weeks that surround the loss of your loved one and the preparation towards their funeral can be some of the most deeply emotional weeks of your life. However, one way that you can channel that emotion is through a eulogy.
A eulogy can give you the chance to get all of your feelings out on paper, whether good or bad, and you can use those feelings to help shape your speech.
Another important part of the process of writing a eulogy is that it allows you to be able to gather the thoughts of other people close to your loved one, such as friends, family members and colleagues. Many of these people may have stories and memories that you have never known about and may know things about your loved one, or saw sides of their personality that you yourself had never known.
Writing a eulogy
Once you have gathered enough ideas for your eulogy, you will next want to think about how to structure it.
It’s important to note that the language you use shouldn’t be overly formal so that everyone in the audience can understand what it is you are saying.
To begin, it’s important that you explain your relationship to the deceased, as their might be people attending who don’t know who you are and you may also want to give a brief overview of what it is you are wanting to share.
Next, you will want to elaborate on your point. For example, if you want to talk about how selfless your father was in his nature, then you might want to share a story about how he did something kind and unselfish for another person. Commonly a eulogy might include 3 or 4 of these anecdotes or tales about a loved one.
Sometimes people choose to prepare their eulogy around a particular theme, such as ‘lessons that my mother taught me’ or ‘how my brother’s memory will live on’. Often these themes can help you to put together a eulogy which is much more than a biographical story of the person’s life.
Editing and practising your speech
Although you shouldn’t feel any pressure about your speech, it is something that you will only have one chance to do, so you should take your time to get it right. You are likely to have lots of other things going on in the weeks surrounding the loss of your loved one, such as communicating with a funeral director, registering the death, dealing with their estate and planning the finer details of their funeral service. This often leaves you with very little time to focus, which is why it is important to take a breather and come back to your eulogy with fresh eyes. You could also try sharing and practising it on a friend or family member who will be able to give you advice from a perspective other than your own.
It’s likely that on the day of the funeral you will be full of emotion and for many people this can mean that they lose track of where they are, or omit important details that they originally included. To help you stay on track, you might want to have cue cards or notes in front of you to give you a prompt when needed.
A eulogy is your chance to pay tribute to the person that you loved, and to share your memories and the memories of others with the people close to them. Stories, personal anecdotes and other recollections can help to build a picture of your loved ones life and even raise a smile in what can be an otherwise distressing time.
If you would like help and support regarding the planning of funerals and receptions, please visit our website here: http://www.cravens-funerals.com/, call us on 0151 228 3900 or see our articles page for further advice.