How to Write Eulogy

How to write a eulogy for a friend or a family member? Many people ask this question after being asked to deliver this goodbye speech. Writing a eulogy is definitely an honorable thing to do - and a tough one as well. A person that still mourns could struggle to find the right words and often doesn’t have any idea about how to write a good eulogy.

But don’t worry: writing a eulogy isn’t always that hard - and it definitely is rewarding. It’s an incredibly challenging an yet a cathartic experience both for you and for the other people present at a funeral. It’s a great opportunity to remember the best things about the person that passed and to say your goodbyes in the right way.

So if you don’t know how to write a eulogy for a father or a friend, here are some tips to help you along.

1. Remember that a eulogy is not a biography.

Therefore, you don’t need to describe every aspect of the person’s life. Instead, try using your own impressions and memories, telling your own stories about their person or sharing someone else’s stories. You could always ask friend and family of a person that passed for such stories or to settle with your own ones. In any case, try to pick stories that would be interesting and relevant to most of the audience.

2. Pick a theme.

Or a couple of themes. This would make it easier for you to focus and would give you something you could center your eulogy around. You could talk about what the deceased person liked doing, what were their relationships with the others, what were their main character traits, and so on.

3. Stay on the positive side.

While you don’t need to justify the person’s negative traits, you don’t need to emphasize them either. No matter how you feel about the certain aspects of a person’s character, the funeral is not the time to bring them up.

The safest - and the most polite - approach would be avoiding any negativity at all.

4. Mention the important things.

Your loved one probably achieved something important in their lives and did something impressive. It’s important to mention those big and important things, at the same time adding the little ones that add to the picture and make your speech more realistic. Such little things could be their small hobbies like addiction to a certain music or fondness for collecting ceramic frogs, for example.

Don’t forget to mention more important things to - like people who were really close to them, their happiest times, and so on. You can even come up with some stories that support what you’re saying.

5. Don’t be afraid to use quotes.

Even when people learn how to write a eulogy for a mother, a father or a friend, they often hesitate to include some quotes in it. Well, you shouldn’t be and you shouldn’t limit yourself only to the «smart» and «impressive» quotes that an essay writer would include.

Instead, pick the quotes that would suit your speech and would really reflect the personality of the person that passed. Even if it’s a phrase from a popular song your loved one enjoyed, you should include it, if you feel like doing so.

6. Pick the right form.

Always remember that writing a eulogy is only half of the job done - you’ll have to deliver it later. If you’ll keep this in mind, it would be easier for you to write a eulogy in a form that would actually help you to deliver it better.

For example, you could write down the main points using cards and give a eulogy using them for help. Or you can write the whole speech, word by word. Or you can try doing it differently and then try reading it out loud to see which approach works best for you.

Also, don’t try to write make it look too smart. Sure, you can tell touching stories and do your best to make your eulogy great - but this doesn’t mean that you should struggle with the choice of words. Write just like you speak: this way it’ll sound more natural and make it easier for you to give that eulogy.

7. Make sure you get everything right.

Your eulogy has to be not only touching but also right. If you mention certain people, events, or places, always to check everything to ensure that you’ve mentioned this right. It would be sad and distressing to give someone’s name wrong.

If you aren’t sure about the names and facts, consider asking someone to help you check them.

8. Come up with a nice ending.

It’s always important to wrap the speech up nicely. You can do so by saying farewells to your loved one, by reading something - a quote or a book excerpt that the deceased person liked. You could even play some music you find appropriate. However, when doing so, explain why you’ve chosen this song or this quote. Keep in mind that it might not be obvious to everyone else.

9. Don’t skip the editing.

Once you learn how to write a eulogy for a grandmother, for another family member, or a friend and write one, it’s important to get to the editing part. The best way to do the editing is to proofread a couple of times and then to read it out loud. This will help you spot the flaws, shorten the sentences that need to be shortened, and so on.

10. Remember that you are not alone.

To some people learning how to write a eulogy is much easier than actually to give one. In that case, it’s always good to remind yourself that you’re definitely not alone in that. The people around you mourn too and they are on your side. Make sure that you have water to drink: you might need it while giving your eulogy. Also, if you feel like it’s getting too hard for you, don’t hesitate to make a short pause, to take a moment to compose yourself.

Writing and delivering a eulogy can help both you and your audience to heal and to give your farewells. Just don’t forget that everyone is here with you.