How to Write a Great Eulogy, Even if you are Pressed for Time
Has someone close to you passed on, and you have been asked to read the eulogy. Are you pressed for time and don't really know where to start? Follow the steps laid out in this article and you will be well on your well to preparing a fantastic eulogy that will be heart-felt and appreciated by everyone at the service.
1. Note-taking. Get a notepad out of your drawer and just start jotting down notes. This will free up your mind, which is probably in a bit of a mental block right now. What were the major events in this person's life? Any really funny stories? Any great stories when they proved that they were a great human being? At this point, just jot down notes. It will be helpful when you sit down and start actually writing out the eulogy.
2. The theme of the eulogy. What kind of person are we talking about here? Was the subject of the eulogy a really funny person known for their sense of humor? Then try and include some funny anecdotes. Were they known for their charity and giving? Mention that. Were they a devoted family person? Include that as the main theme.
3. Create the basic structure of the eulogy. It is just like a short story. You have a beginning, middle and end. The beginning should be establishing what kind of person they are, the middle should elaborate on what kind of person they are, and the ending should summarize it. So, if your loved one was a very charitable person; mention this in the beginning, give some examples in the middle frame, and then summarize it in the last section. Establish the theme and then build on why you chose that theme.
4. Write the middle section first. This is by far the easiest section of the eulogy. You are just basically telling stories about the person in this frame. Once you have written this, the beginning and ending sections will be much easier.
5. Write the beginning of the eulogy, and then the end. Both should be short and sweet; the middle section is the meat of your eulogy. Again, if the major theme of the eulogy is that this person was very charitable, then start with that and finish with that. Here's an example:
The start: "My grandmother was the most kind and caring person that I have ever known. Not only did she bless my life with her generous and giving ways, but she touched hundreds of lives through her involvement in many different charitable causes. If you are sitting here today, then you have surely felt the warm embrace of my grandmother's unselfishness and kindness."
The end: "My grandmother always told me, 'If you can change one person's life for the better, you have lived a noble life." Well, Grandma, I know you are looking down on us today, and I am sure that we can all agree that you have touched all of us. For that, we thank you, and we'll always miss you."
6. Leave the eulogy for a few hours, and then come back to it. You can edit it and then re-write the eulogy, which should leave you with a eulogy that you are proud of. Write it out clearly so that you have no problems delivering the eulogy when the time comes. Don't fine-tune it too much at this stage; you will drive yourself crazy trying to find the perfect words or the perfect sentences. Speak from the heart.
7. Deliver the eulogy. Take a deep breath before you begin. Try to avoid eye contact with family members, as it will likely make you more emotional. Read exactly what you have prepared. If you are speaking from the heart and didn't write anything beforehand, then bring an index card filled with bullet points just in case you forget what you were going to say. When you are delivering your last line, look around the room and make eye contact, and when you are finished, take your seat without hurrying too much.
Filed under: General Knowledge