Delivering a eulogy can be very challenging. In a time of grief, it is difficult to know what to say and how to say it. It is important to talk about the life of the one who died, but it is impossible to talk about the deceased’s life from infancy to death in a four to seven minute speech. Therefore, you probably should not try to fit a complete lifetime in the eulogy. However, you can still reveal a complete life.
The loved one being eulogized is not a complete person because he or she has completed a life, but because the departed was a multi-faceted person while living. Keeping the following illustrations in mind will help you honor the richness of a life well-lived.
- Family – what kind of family person was the deceased? Parts of this illustration include the departed being a spouse, parent, grandparent, son or daughter, and sibling. Think of examples and anecdotes that will help to show this side of his or her life. For instance, one man was remembered as being a good father when his son recalled him driving all night after working overtime to be at his college graduation.
- Friend – What kind of friendship qualities did the eulogized have? Was she a good listener? Was he always offering a helping hand?
- Professional – how did the deceased value his or her work life? You can discuss work ethic, for example.
- Community – What kind of neighbor was the departed? Did he or she volunteer or give generously to charity? One woman was remembered by how she often provided lunch for the neighborhood kids in the summertime and always gave them a safe place to go.
- Other Unique Qualities – Was the deceased a master carpenter? Was she a fantastic cook? Some attributes here could cover the departed being a good artist, musician, writer, or even a philosopher.
Be sure to draw on the memories of those that can share a unique point of view. A daughter would be a good source for parent/child memories, for example.
Remember, the eulogy needs to be uplifting, but honest. If the deceased was an absent parent, don’t go on and on about how great he or she was with the kids. Concentrating on the good points of the various aspects of the deceased’s life will paint a rich and complete picture of the deceased. This type of approach will also make for a memorable, well-received eulogy.