How Do I Write a Eulogy?
Many people are frightened and intimidated by the prospect of public speaking in general. Mixed with an occasion in which you are already under an intense amount of emotional stress, and where the weight of the task of doing justice to a life is overwhelming – and delivering a eulogy can be a frankly frightening prospect.
It’s important and comforting to remember that a eulogy is not like a regular public speech. After all, the focus is not on you but rather the person you’re remembering. There’s none of the need to impress that there is in other types of speech – merely to communicate a personal memory to a personal audience who you trust, and who will smile and recognise the person they too loved.
What to Put in a Eulogy?
The beauty of a eulogy is that gives an overall sense of the person – a person who many attending would have encountered in all different walks of life – as well as personal, perhaps surprising anecdotes, that shed new light and bring a new smile to faces during a time of grief.
Typically eulogies will provide an overview of a life in its general details – the deceased’s childhood, family life, and career. Such discussions are not only illuminating in explaining the context of a life, but they deliver to the listeners a sense of the ‘fullness’ of the life that was lived – something especially important to remember when grieving a loss.
Personal memories – perhaps even one striking and elaborate anecdote – are a terrific way to ‘bring back to life’ the person by recalling their particular humour, manner, style, or habits. A well chosen anecdote will not only be welcome to those who are already familiar with it but will spark that moment of recognition – ‘That’s exactly how she was!’ – to those who knew the deceased without sharing that particular memory.
Drawing in perspectives of your loved one from all facets of their lives – perspectives of work colleagues, children, parents, childhood friends – gives a feeling of inclusivity to the eulogy, while also highlighting and celebrating the many ways in which the deceased was appreciated.
Be sure to note what you think are the major ways in which the deceased made the world a better place – whether these achievements were in their career, in their children, or simply in the everyday joy they brought to people’s lives. Underscore what the congregants have to be thankful for when remembering their loved one.
As a final note, keep the eulogy to between ten and fifteen minutes. You want to make it long enough to convey the ‘essence’ of the person, but not so long that the ‘big points’ are lost.
The friendly and compassionate team at Perth Cremations will be able to help every step of the way in planning and delivering the funeral service. If you’ve lost a loved one, or wish to make advance arrangements, contact us today for a free quote.