How to Write a Eulogy: An Informative Guide
Have you been asked to write a eulogy but aren’t sure where to begin. Let us help you with this complete guide on how to write and deliver a beautiful eulogy.
Did you know that each year roughly 2,854,838 people pass away in the United States? It’s easy for this number to seem like just a statistic. But, remember that each of these individuals likely had loved ones that they had to leave behind.
If you’ve just lost someone, then planning a funeral service can seem overwhelming. It’s especially difficult for grieving individuals to write a eulogy and deliver it.
Public speaking is stressful enough by itself, but when you combine it with the pressure to honor someone’s life it can quickly get overwhelming. That’s why we made this article.
In it, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about writing the eulogy and delivering it. That way, you can get back to comforting both others and yourself. Let’s get started.
Decide on the Right Type of Tone
Before you can begin it’s important to decide on the tone of the eulogy. This will set the stage for both how you write the eulogy and what you will include in it. Will your eulogy be somber and respectful? Or nostalgic and lighthearted? Will you include humor in it?
These are all questions to keep in mind when you begin your article. And, a note about humor. It’s perfectly fine to include some humor in a eulogy.
Laughing can take some of the tension out of what is often a stressful event. But, make sure that you’re tasteful when you include it. You should always remember both who is in the audience and your relationship to the departed.
If there’s a lot of older family members present, then crude humor probably isn’t appropriate.
Address the Audience and Introduce Yourself
Once you decide on a tone, then you can dive into the introduction. We recommend introducing yourself first. You should also describe your relationship with the deceased.
Just make sure to keep it as brief as possible. Remember that a eulogy should be roughly five to ten minutes. That translates to approximately 750 to 1500 words.
Mix Biographical Information with Memories
We recommend starting with some biographical details. Basic information here is fine. Include things like where and when they were born. Major dates are also appropriate: where they graduated from, when they married, and things like that.
If they’ve had a distinguished career, then you may also want to include that. You can also talk about their personality here. Maybe they were a friend with everyone they met? Or, maybe they were shy, but once you got to know them they opened up like a flower?
Finally, include the date of their death. Once you get some of the facts out of the way, then it’s time to make the eulogy a little more colorful. The best way to do this is to include some of your favorite memories that you’ve had with the person.
Make a list of the top ones. Then, choose two or three of them to flesh out more fully. This is a good place to go into detail. The more information you can include will give people a better idea of who the person was.
If you can’t think of any memories of the person, then don’t panic. Try reaching out to other family members or friends. The odds are that someone has something special that they want to be told about the individual.
Don’t Get Frustrated With Yourself When You Write a Eulogy
It’s easy to get angry at yourself when you write a eulogy. Writer’s block is extremely challenging to deal with, especially if you haven’t written something in a while. At times the task can feel impossible.
After all, how can you capture the essence of a person in a short speech? On top of that, you’re also dealing with the grief and possible shock that comes with losing someone.
As such, you must be patient with yourself. Acknowledge that this is a hard task before you and don’t hold yourself to perfection. Even a professional writer likely couldn’t make a perfect eulogy.
So be forgiving when that negative voice pops up in your head. Remind yourself that grief can last a long time. So, just try your best. In the end, that will be enough.
Finish the Eulogy With a Closing Statement and Goodbye
Once you’ve included everything that you want in the eulogy, then it’s time to end it. Typically this involves a brief conclusion. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated. Some people like to include a popular phrase, quote, or poem.
However, this is optional. Once you’ve said everything you need to, then it’s time to say goodbye. Just be prepared. This can be an emotional moment in the eulogy for many people. We recommend practicing it a few times so that it feels a little more natural.
Practice the Eulogy Before You Deliver It
Did you know that 73% of the population suffers from a fear of public speaking? It’s not hard to see why delivering a eulogy can be so stressful. Not only do you need to make something personal and vulnerable.
But, on top of that, you need to deliver it publicly to your family and peers. There’s no sure-fire fix for public speaking anxiety. But, one thing that can make it easier is practicing the eulogy a lot before you deliver it.
A lot of the anxiety behind public speaking comes from the fear that will mess up in front of an audience. As such, practice can make us more confident when we know the material forward and backward.
And, remind yourself that it’s okay if you mess up during a eulogy. No one expects it to be perfect and it’s perfectly fine if you get emotional during the event.
Have a Supportive Person Standing Nearby
Many people get scared that they’re going to cry during their eulogy and be unable to finish. If you’re worried about this, then ask someone close to you to stand nearby when you deliver the speed.
Having someone supportive close by in case things get overwhelming can make you feel a lot better. Also, remember that you shouldn’t feel bad about getting emotional over the passing of a loved one.
Acknowledging what you’re feeling is one of the first steps to processing death. And, more often than not, this can bring up some intense, unpleasant emotions. A release, like crying, can help bring some temporary relief to these feelings.
Make Sure That You Concentrate On Breathing
The stress of public speaking can lead many individuals to have a panic attack before their eulogy. If you’re worried about this happening to you, then make sure to focus on your breathing.
Specifically, we recommend box breathing. To do this you should first put your hand on your chest or stomach. Then slowly inhale for four seconds. Once you have your breath hold it for four seconds.
Make sure you try hard not to exhale during this period. Then, exhale for four seconds. After you do this sit still for four seconds. As you can see, the breathing exercise forms a square.
You can do it as many times as you want when you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s great for reducing anxiety and making you feel present.
Never Forget Who the Eulogy Is For
Often when we think of eulogies our heads go to the Hollywood speeches that are perfectly delivered. However, the reality is that this is rarely the case. Real eulogies are rough around the edges.
They’re hard to create and even harder to deliver. As such, it’s always helpful to remember who the eulogy is for. Would they want you to be stressing yourself out over their behalf? Probably not.
It’s easy for us to make a eulogy about ourselves. But, that’s just our egos speaking. At the end of the day, this event is to honor the legacy of the person who passed. Never lose sight of that.
Do You Need Help With Your Funeral Service? Call Lone Star Cremation
We hope this article helped you learn how to write a eulogy and deliver it. Here is Lone Star Cremation, we know firsthand how difficult it is to lose someone that you love. What’s harder is having to organize a ceremony during this difficult time.
When you’re grieving someone you lost the last thing you probably want to do is go to a funeral home to make arrangements. And, while we do offer that option, we also provide online arrangements that can finish in twenty minutes.
That way, you can focus on the people that matter: your grieving family, friends, and yourself. So, if you need help with any step of the funeral process, make sure to contact Lone Star Cremation today.
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