When putting together a eulogy, one of the most important things to consider is the kind of theme you are going to use. There are many ways to go about this, but there are three main types of themes to consider: biographical, personal, and specialized.
This kind of theme recounts the life history of the departed. Biographies are often interesting and could reveal something new to many people attending. A tribute would fit into this category. Tributes are those that discuss the high points in the life of the deceased. It discusses the accomplishments of a life well lived, any awards that may have been received, and other things that may have impacted the lives of others. Often, the obituaries in newspapers are written in this fashion.
This type of theme is based on the memories that people have of the person who died. You should gather these memories from loved ones ahead of time, and don’t forget to include your own. The legacy of the deceased is often mentioned here. It discusses how life has changed for those who are left behind. The children of the departed, projects that were completed and any charities that were impacted are a part of the legacy. This can be very touching and emotional for those present. A personal theme may be emotional for you, too. And it is okay to show some emotion. It’s understood by those in attendance, and no one will think it is inappropriate.
This kind of theme usually relates something that was special to the departed, or something that everyone can relate to. Some types of specialized themes could include a light-hearted or even humorous theme – particularly if the deceased was known for a sense of humor or playing practical jokes. Religious themes are also applicable in many cases.
For even more of a specialized theme, you could take a concept or special quote, poem, or reading that applies to the life you will be celebrating. “My Father’s Hands” is one example. People have used a quilt as a theme concept by pointing out the different patches or squares that have fit together. Plus, quilts are also a symbol of comfort for those who are mourning the loss of a dear loved one. There are a number of sources available to choose the right theme, reading or poem.
No matter what theme you eventually select, it is most important that your eulogy comes from the heart. That will insure that it is the proper gift to the departed and the friends and loved ones gathered to say goodbye.