Writing the Eulogy
What should be included in an eulogy?
The eulogy is usually the most personal part of a funeral service because it acknowledges the uniqueness of the deceased and his or her meaning to others.
It may seem easy to write a positive and honest eulogy for a family member or friend, but when the time comes it may be hard to deal with your own grief. So, it’s important to take some time to focus yourself before you begin. It is usually best to outline your eulogy before you try writing. Keep in mind that the average eulogy is about 10 or 12 minutes long.
The most meaningful eulogies:
- Are presented by those closest to the deceased.
- Include one or two stories about the deceased. Choose a funny story to start the eulogy. This will help people remember the happiness of the deceased’s life. Mention something that gave the deceased pleasure, for instance, playing music or sports.
- Frequently reference the person who has died by name.
- Mention the circumstances surrounding the death.
- Capture the deceased’s important beliefs with quotes from people who were inspirational to him or her.
- List some of the accomplishments of the deceased and the differences he or she has made in the lives of others. Include the memories of many different people.
- Discuss how the deceased has affected your own life (in a positive way), as well as how his death has affected you. Be honest about your feelings. An honest eulogy is always more meaningful.
- Acknowledge mourners’ pain and encourage them to exhibit grief.
- Include family members who may tend to keep a "low profile" (i.e. gay partners, ex-spouses; stepchildren etc.).
- Elevate the message to deepen our awareness of mortality and appreciation for life.
- Acknowledge the value of the guests’ presence to family and friends.
- State that the deceased will be missed and will always be loved.
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