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Person writing a eulogy

How to Write a Eulogy

Losing a loved one, whether it’s a family member or friend, is one of the most challenging life events. Planning the funeral and even thinking about the day itself can be very emotional. However, celebrating the individual, their life and achievements through words can help you to remember them in an uplifting way.

While this can be done through personal conversations had with others at the funeral, a eulogy is another way to remember and commemorate someone who has died. If you find yourself having to write or present a eulogy, this complete guide will offer everything you need to be able to write and deliver a memorable tribute. Read our tips to find out how to write a eulogy here.

What is a Eulogy?

A eulogy is a speech that is given during a funeral service or memorial. It is typically written by the person who presents it and the aim is to honour and celebrate the person who has died and their life. It is a personal speech that comes from the heart. While it is up to the individual to determine what they include and intend to say, typically a eulogy includes individual stories, memories, achievements and a description of the impact that the deceased person had on other people and their lives.

A eulogy is more than just a recapture of events. It paints a picture of your loved one and captures their spirit, personality and achievements. A eulogy can be very emotive for both the people listening to it and the person reading it and can be a very important part of the funeral service. Eulogies are a beautiful way to commemorate a loved one.

Top Tips to Write a Eulogy

If you’ve never had to write a eulogy before, you might be wondering where to get started or even how to write a funeral speech. Here we’ve rounded up some best practice advice to help you out. However, it is important to remember that a eulogy should be personal to the individual being spoken about as well as the reader. Ensure it is packed with personal stories and effectively showcases the person at the heart of it.

Some tips to remember when writing a eulogy include:

  • Talk to people – To get started, think about what made your loved one so unique and, indeed, loved. Write down memories, their characteristics, and any quirky habits. You may also find it helpful to speak to other people who know them in order to get a wider overview of their life.
  • Write from the heart – When you stand up to deliver the eulogy, it’s important you do so from the heart. However, just as important as this is that you also need to write from the heart. Be genuine and authentic, and show how much your memories and stories together mean.
  • Gather anecdotes – The best eulogies are the ones that paint a clear picture of the individual, and include some unknown tales and funny stories. While you know a few of these, you’ll be better able to create an in-depth eulogy by speaking to other friends and family members. Consider different people who were with the individual at various aspects of their life for a collection of diverse stories.
  • Practice – Delivering the eulogy on the day is likely to be very emotional. Practising it beforehand can help you to feel less nervous but you can also make any changes required. If you can, you should consider practising it in front of someone so that they can give you some advice. For example, they may notice you are speaking too fast or that you could be clearer in some sections.

What to Include in Eulogy Writing

As we’ve mentioned, it is up to you as to what you include in a eulogy and the best ones are the ones that are completely personalised with individual stories. However, typically, there is a format that is followed – things to remember if you are wondering how to write a eulogy include:

  • Introduction – It’s a nice idea to start the eulogy by explaining who you are and your relationship to the deceased person. If there’s a story about how you met, this is a great place to include it.
  • Life highlights – Next, you might want to touch on significant life events like their education, marriage, children and any career achievements. While you don’t have to include a full biography, a spotlight on their pivotal moments is a nice way to remember them.
  • Personal stories – A eulogy is also a great way to share personal stories that fully showcase the individual’s personality, kindness, humour or maybe another character trait. If they had an unusual passion or hobby, or even a saying, this is a nice way to remind people of it. While this section can be hugely emotional, it’s also a great way to get everyone laughing.
  • Legacy – You may also want to mention the lasting impact they’ve left on you and their loved ones as well as any life lessons they’ve imparted. Consider what values they cherished? And explain how they will be remembered.
  • Conclusion – Finally, you might want to offer some final words of condolence or even some parting words that they said. Some people also choose to include a poem, quote or prayer.

How Long Should a Eulogy Be?

Typically, eulogies last around 5-10 minutes but it’s important to note that this is up to you. If you’d prefer to speak for longer or less, that is fine. It can also be a good idea to let the content dictate how long the eulogy is rather than trying to fill a specific amount of time. Make sure that you say everything you want and ensure that every word matters.

Person writing down a eulogy

Things to Remember When Writing a Eulogy or Funeral Speech

Writing a eulogy can be a huge honour but it can also be daunting. It’s important to remember that emotions are okay. If you become emotional when delivering the speech, take a moment and try to get back to it. Remember, everyone there listening will likely be sharing your grief. You may also find that using a printed version of your eulogy to keep you on track can help you to feel less nervous. It also means you’ll be better able to cover every point that you want.

In addition to this, it’s important that you stay true to the person. A eulogy is an overview of them as a person and their life. While you won’t want to speak badly about them, it is okay to mention any challenges that they faced. This can help to create a eulogy that’s relatable and real.

How To End a Eulogy

Writing a eulogy or speech at a funeral or memorial service can be scary especially when you are trying to navigate grief. However, it is also a hugely uplifting responsibility and is your chance to showcase memories and values of the deceased. With your words, it can help people to remember the person and their spirit may live on in memory. Of course, it is not about creating a perfect eulogy, instead about creating a real and meaningful eulogy that connects people. If you are struggling to put your ideas together, you may find looking at eulogy examples online beneficial. Simply search examples of a eulogy online and take a look at how others have done it.

If you would like any advice or want to organise a funeral service in Wirral, fill out our contact form and a member of our funeral directors will get back in touch.