How to write a eulogy

A eulogy is your chance to farewell someone about whom you cared deeply. While writing one may seem a daunting task, a eulogy offers a special opportunity to commemorate and celebrate a life well lived and loved.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to writing a eulogy. So here are some ideas to help you get started.

Draw upon your connection

Many people like to mention how they met and knew the person who has passed away. It’s also a wonderful way to share a side of your loved one which others may not have experienced. If you had an endearing (or funny) nickname for the person, you can also reveal that and how it came about.

Tell stories

Stories paint a picture. They show rather then tell. And painting a picture of your loved one can warm people’s hearts. Can you recall an incident which describes the person to a tee? Which will make people smile, and think, “yep, that’s the ‘Joe’ I remember?” If you can, it’s worth telling.

Add humour

Eulogies don’t need to be a commiseration. If being witty is your thing, then don’t shy away from weaving your anecdotes into the eulogy. Humour helps when people are grieving; it’s very healing. If you don’t do humour, don’t panic. Being warm and heart-felt will work just as well.

Reflect on what made them be them

Many of us actively seek out meaningful lives. We achieve things, contribute to the community, do our best to be a great parent/wife/husband/sister, etc. So it’s no wonder that these are the types of things for which people like to be remembered. A good way to share such things about your loved one could be to weave them into stories throughout the eulogy.

Recall things of passion

Sharing achievements and contributions are all great, but what makes a person whole is their passions. What were your loved ones favourite things? What made their heart sing? Sharing these will bring the eulogy alive.  For example, “Penny was passionate about feeding people. It’s what gave her the most joy and serenity. After all, she did make the most delicious, moist roast chicken in town!”

Now that you have some ideas on what to include – how do you go about writing the eulogy? This is entirely up to you. The process can be organic, where you write whatever comes to mind about your loved one first, then edit later. Or you can take a planned approach, researching and jotting down notes first.

If you’re a planner, why not look through photos and memorabilia, and talk to close family and friends to remind you of stories and examples? You can then choose the most meaningful things you wish to share.

Another option is to go the chronological route, beginning at their birthplace, childhood and so on. Looking up other eulogies online can also give you some ideas.

Last, but not least, remember that a eulogy doesn’t have to be long, wise, funny, teary or impressive. Just write from the heart, expressing yourself in your unique way about another unique person who graced the lives of all who knew them.

Why not watch this White Lady Funerals YouTube video on how to write a eulogy?

How to write a great eulogy

Fountain pen and paper being used to write a eulogy

How to write a great eulogy

Giving a eulogy is all about speaking from the heart.

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