Gathering the Building Blocks of a Heartfelt Eulogy
Facing the challenges of delivering a eulogy can be intimidating. However, the service you can do for the deceased’s family and friends is invaluable.
If you are prepared, you can limit stress and feel good about your part in celebrating the life of your loved one. The best way to get started in this is to gather the pieces of a cherished life. These are the building blocks of a genuine and heartfelt eulogy.
Make a List
Making a list of all relevant information about the person who died will start the organization process. The following are suggestions you can put on the list:
- Personal Information – full name, date and place of birth, age, cause of death, and places that he/she lived.
- Family Information – spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, brothers and sisters, other significant family and friends, and include their places of residences of these and who of these are deceased. You should also include deceased’s pets.
- Background – work and career information, education, hobbies and special interests, religion (church affiliation, etc.), civic organizations and activities, and military service.
- Other Significant Aspects of Life – special life events, accomplishments and awards, significant beliefs, philosophies, and values.
Collecting the Pieces
Gather photographs and other significant mementos. Finding specific articles of the person’s life will help you decide what is important. Seek out family and friends for help. Each person that was close to the deceased will have unique pieces of the puzzle of a life lived.
When talking to others, ask about special memories that they have with the deceased and take good notes. You may discover some stories that most do not know about, but would greatly appreciate. This is a good place to find information and stories about the deceased’s childhood, holidays and other special occasions. There may be stories of changed lives because of the deceased, or little known desires or life passions.
Be sure to include funny and light-hearted stories. A funeral may be a sad occasion, but celebrating a life that included fun and laughter is appropriate and very much appreciated by those in attendance.
Include your own stories and things that were very personal to you, if possible. If you were close to the deceased, you are giving the eulogy for that reason.
Following these steps will put you on the right track for a heartfelt eulogy. After gathering these building blocks, you will find the task less intimidating.