A eulogy, a speech or piece of writing that (typically) praises someone who has just died, can be a tricky thing. A speaker is challenged by dealing with their own grief while communicating in an effective and heartfelt way that helps the audience process their own emotions. Add to that the pressure of adequately honoring the deceased, and the situation becomes even more sensitive.
Delivering a eulogy is one thing, but the step before that—writing the speech—is a whole other can of worms.
Writing a great eulogy can turn a funeral into a healing Celebration of Life. Below are a few tips for writing a eulogy.
The first step of any Writing Process should be to decide on a focus.
Choosing a central focus, in this instance, is easy. Your focus is on the deceased. But what about them? What’s your message?
This is a chance to center yourself by remembering what they brought to your life.
It’s easy to stand up and say a few stock lines, but you want to make an impact. You want to treat your loved one with respect, even after they’ve passed. He or she had unique traits. They were one-of-a-kind. Your eulogy is an opportunity to reflect that.
Typically, a eulogy has two or three main points.
Picking out a few lessons or admirable traits that express your main focus can help the other funeral attendees understand exactly what the deceased meant to you. Stories and anecdotes help listeners empathize, as well as personalizes your speech.
Death can be scary for many people. Generally, people associate darkness, gloom, and overall negativity with death.
Your eulogy can give people a spark of inspiration, a silver lining in an otherwise-dark cloud. By talking about the good that can be taken from the deceased’s life, you can help everyone deal with mortality and help them improve their outlook.