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What Is a Eulogy and How Do I Write One?

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A eulogy is the formal name for a speech given to commemorate an individual’s life. Eulogies are typically delivered at funerals or memorial services and are often given by a family member or friend of the departed.

There’s no one way of writing a eulogy. Whilst this flexibility can be freeing, it may also be intimidating. That’s why we’ve put together our top tips for writing a eulogy.

How do I write a eulogy?

Eulogies are given in tribute to the departed. As each individual is different, this therefore means that eulogies are going to be different, too.

With that said, there are some ways of making the process of eulogy writing a little easier.

Be personal

Remember, a eulogy is designed to honour and celebrate the departed. It’s typically a way of summarising their life, sharing fond memories and telling meaningful stories about them.

Writing a good eulogy is all about painting a picture of the person. Although you can detail their lifetime achievements and milestones, this is the purpose of an obituary. As such, when you’re writing your eulogy, it’s about being personalised to the individual in question.

Include a poem, quote, song lyric or reading

It’s always appropriate to include a quote that the departed loved or that summarises their character and personality.

Talk to other family members and friends

Ask those who knew their loved one best to provide thoughts, reflections and memories of them. Each person will have had their own relationship with the departed, and will therefore be able to paint a more colourful picture of the person. Plus, by asking for the assistance of others, it can help to reduce the stress of writing the eulogy on your own.

Keep it concise and structured

It’s easy to get carried away when giving a eulogy. Whilst this is a sign of the love held for the deceased, it can prolong a funeral service and risk attendees getting distracted.

Keep to a tight structure, and ensure that the eulogy doesn’t run for too long.

Be sensitive

Funerals can be emotionally taxing for everyone involved, but especially for the family and friends of the loved one.

Try to be sensitive to the needs of others when writing a eulogy. You’re trying to honour, celebrate and pay tribute to the departed – not to bring up old wounds, even accidentally.

Humour is fine, but approach it with sensitivity.

Get someone else to read it

If you’re worried about the eulogy, have someone else read over it. They can advise if it’s too long, too impersonal, or has moments that may be best left out.

Alternatively, if you’re worried about reading it aloud on the day, practice performing it in front of someone else. This will help your nerves, allowing you to focus on remembering your loved one.

Pay tribute to your loved one

Celebrate your loved one with a professional and personalised funeral. As experienced Bristol funeral directors, we understand how important it is to stage a service that honours the departed and accommodates your needs.

Man mourning loss of family member

Funeral services are an occasion many families organise when a loved one dies. This memorial isn’t just a standard part of saying goodbye to the deceased, there are some very important reasons behind the meaning for many people.

While you celebrate the life of the deceased and mourn their death, the funeral isn’t for them – it’s about them. So, it’s essential to use this time to focus on making it a beautiful and memorable occasion for family and friends.

Funerals have played a part of life since the beginning of time. Every culture has its own type of funeral, and there are numerous honours and celebrations that take place in religious and spiritual settings. Each style of service acknowledges that a person is ‘laid to rest’, and this offers peace and comfort for their nearest and dearest.

Alongside this, there are several reasons why funerals are important. Below, we look at each.

Funerals stimulate a healthy grieving period

Experiencing grief is a natural part of healing after losing a loved one. This person had a significant impact on your life, and it takes time to interpret your feelings about this and the future without them. In this instance, funerals create a chance to take your grief journey and say goodbye in a special setting among people who can support you. It also allows you to reminisce and remember all the good times with others.

Funerals bring people together

Funerals welcome people who want to celebrate the life of the deceased, including family, friends and colleagues. Some individuals you may not know well, but they all play an important part in laying your loved one to rest. Whether you opt for a service, wake, or both, it helps bring people together to connect and support each other on a deeper level.

Funerals celebrate the deceased

These occasions are often an upsetting time for many. But they are a celebration of the life of a loved one. This is an ideal opportunity to talk about the impact they had on people and how they lived and flourished. There are always many stories to tell, and all will remember the legacy they leave behind.

Funerals are important for religious and spiritual families

In some cases, funerals are conducted for religious or spiritual occasions. There are many cultures and groups across the world that have funerals for reasons such as helping the deceased find their way to the afterlife or variants of this. These types of funerals vary in traditions and ceremonies – they also have different mourning periods.

Funerals help loved ones to say goodbye

An important part of the grief process is having the opportunity to say goodbye to a loved one. A funeral provides this time, and it acts as a type of closure for family and friends. You can choose to say your goodbyes in private to the casket or share your final words with family and friends at the service. This also opens up the platform for others to share their goodbyes if they wish.

Capturing the importance of a funeral for your family

There are many reasons why funerals are important. Whether you’d like a religious, spiritual or standard funeral service, our experienced Bristol funeral directors understand how to make this time a unique and memorable experience for all. With package options to suit all requirements, your family is assured of a professional and compassionate service to celebrate the life of your loved one.

Related FAQs

Cremations are a common option for a loved one’s funeral. They are less expensive than burials, and you can choose the type of cremation you prefer depending on the deceased’s wishes and budget.

close up of woman with cinerary urn at funeral

Cremations, like other funerals, vary in cost depending on what you include in the service. Research carried out by Funeral Guide highlighted that the average cost of a cremation in 2023 so far is £934. However, this cost does not include funeral director’s fees or interment costs. Alternatively, when you include a complete funeral package, Legal & General figures come out at an average of £3,940.

The breakdown of how much a cremation costs

The cost of a cremation depends on a variety of factors, including what type of cremation your family requests. There are two distinct cremation options, which include:

Direct cremation

A direct cremation is a service provide offered by funeral directors. It is a simple service which does not include a memorial held at the crematorium. In this package, there is no option to add extras, and you cannot choose the time or day of the cremation. Once the cremation is complete, the ashes are released to you, and your family and friends can arrange a ceremony in any way you wish.

This cremation is cheaper than traditional services. For example, our Bristol direct cremation costs £1,500. This includes:

Complete cremation service

A common choice for a funeral service is a complete cremation package. This is a traditional style of cremation service that includes a memorial carried out at the crematorium. Again, this option is cheaper than a burial and provides a way for family and friends to come together to remember a loved one.

The costs for a complete cremation are more than a direct option, as you get a range of tailored options and can add extras if you wish. For example, our Bristol complete cremation package starts from £3,250 and includes the following:

How much does a cremation cost – different aspects that make up the price

While most funeral directors provide a package price for a cremation, there are several factors that make up this cost to consider. These include:


The location of a funeral contributes to how much it costs. For example, research shows that cremations in places such as London and the South East cost more compared to Wales and the Midlands.

Extra services

When choosing a complete funeral package, you also have the option to add additional services to the service arrangements. These are separate charges and add extra cost to the service. However, you can choose from elements such as:

Planning for the cost of a cremation

Funerals can be a significant cost depending on the type of service you choose. Every family has different requirements, and the deceased may also have prior input into their wishes. It is possible to arrange an affordable cremation, and our funeral directors in Bristol are on hand to help with a number of suitable options. No matter your budget, you can say your goodbyes without compromising on respect and care for your loved one.

Related FAQs

After a cremation service, family members receive their loved one’s ashes. At this point, it is often decided what will happen to the ashes. Sometimes, the departed will have had specific wishes about where they want to be laid to rest.  

Hands touching a burial urn at an outdoor funeral

However, if the deceased has not made this decision, family members can choose what to do with a loved one’s ashes.  

But what are the options? 

What to do with ashes after cremation? 

There are several options – some traditional, others more unique. So, getting the family together to decide is a good way for everyone to be involved.  

Traditional options  

Bury ashes after cremation  

If some of your lost family members are buried in a cemetery, there is an option to place the ashes in this plot. Burying ashes is also known as the interment of ashes, which takes place in a small gathering after the funeral service. You will need permission to do this, as the ashes are buried within the existing plot. Ashes can also be buried in other areas, such as gardens or woodland areas.  

Scatter ashes after cremation  

Scattering a loved ones’ ashes is another common way to say farewell to the deceased. In the UK, there is no specific law stating where you can or can’t scatter ashes. However, if you choose a public or private space, you’ll need permission from the landowner first.  

Keep ashes after cremation  

When deciding what to do with ashes after cremation, another option is to keep them. Purchasing an urn and keeping it at home can help loved ones to feel close to a lost one. Ashes can also be split among family members, so each person has the deceased nearby.  

Unique options  

There are numerous unique ways to say farewell to a loved one following a cremation. Some ideas include: 

Turn ashes into jewellery 

Memorial jewellery is a beautiful way to keep a lost loved one close by. Several companies provide options to turn ashes into pendants, bracelets and rings. Plus, as only a small amount is required, this could be a lovely option for several family members.  

Take the ashes on your travels 

Did the deceased have a favourite holiday spot? Or perhaps they loved sailing or being close to the sea? To give them a tremendous last send-off, scattering their ashes over the water or in their beloved destination is a memorable way to say farewell.  

Plant ashes as a tree 

Woodland burials and green funerals are becoming more commonplace as people look towards reducing their environmental impact even after death. So, the option of planting a tree with your loved one’s ashes is a beautiful way to keep their spirit alive. You also have a particular spot to return to as it grows.  

Get a tattoo with ashes  

Tattoos are a permanent and beautiful way to remember a loved one. However, some studios now offer the option of using ashes within the ink to make this even more special.  

Keep ashes in a cuddly toy 

Aside from the traditional urn, ashes can be stored in many ways, including cuddly toys. These specially designed toys have a concealed area at the back to place the ashes to keep them safe.  

Helping you say farewell to a loved one 

Whatever option you decide on for your loved one’s ashes, our compassionate funeral directors in Bristol are here to guide you through the options. 

If you have any further questions about our services, contact our caring and experienced team, who are ready to advise you. 

Related FAQs

Funerals provide a space to share your memories and support the family of the deceased. One simple way to do this is by writing in a condolence book.

Open page in a condolence book

If you’re wondering what to write in a condolence book in the UK, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. In this post, we’ll take you through everything you need to know, including where to buy a condolence book. 

What is a book of condolence?   

Condolence books are a thoughtful way to give a message of support during an upsetting time. The family of the deceased often provide a book at the funeral service or wake, and you may choose to write a short message if you wish.  

However, it’s understandable that putting pen to paper can be a little overwhelming. Not knowing what to write or how to start your message is a typical stumbling block.  

But, whatever you write, it’s important to remember that this may give the deceased’s family comfort. In addition, it may help you to cope with feelings of loss.  

What to write in a condolence book at a UK funeral service?  

Writing in a condolence book is a personal experience, but overthinking your words can make this daunting. Some aspects to consider include the following: 

Starting your message 

Address your message to the family members. Perhaps start with a sentence such as “I was very sorry to hear that George passed away…” This sentence is often the most difficult to write. However, in these few words, you can express your sympathy and show support for the grieving family.  

Include personal memories 

Writing in a condolence book is a beautiful way to share memories of the deceased. Reminisce about experiences you shared or how they impacted your life. Include kind words about their character or how they made you feel. Loved ones will cherish these messages fondly.  

Offer support  

After the funeral, the deceased’s family will take time to read the condolence book. So, at the end of your message, you can offer a helping hand if you’re able to. For example, you might mention that they can call anytime if they need to or if they require assistance with life tasks such as shopping or babysitting. Let them know you’re only a phone call away.  

How to write in a condolence book  

Don’t worry about the length of your message 

Some people write several paragraphs, others just a few sentences – don’t feel your message has to be a specific length. Any words are appreciated.  

Speak from your heart 

This message is a way to show the deceased’s loved ones your feelings during this time. To convey your message, the words don’t have to be grammatically perfect or even spelt correctly. So, don’t worry about the little imperfections. Just write from the heart.  

What not to write in a condolence book 

Writing a heartfelt message doesn’t have to be daunting. But there are a few things to remember so you don’t inadvertently cause upset at this already difficult time.  

Avoid religious phrases, especially if the family are not religious. For example, writing that this is part of God’s plan, or a similar expression, may cause hurt.  

Avoid comparing this experience to your own or using phrases such as “I know how you feel”. While this comes from a good place, and you’re trying to help, everyone experiences grief differently, and this may cause upset.  

Where to buy a condolence book?  

If you are making funeral arrangements, condolence books are available in many high street and online stores. Your Bristol funeral director may also provide a book or recommendations for online condolence pages where family and friends can share messages, images and donations after the funeral.  

Compassionate funeral services in Bristol 

Preparing for a funeral service can be a difficult process. For assistance on what to write in a condolence book or other aspects of arranging a funeral, our team of caring and professional funeral directors in Bristol is here to help. 

If you have any questions about our services, you can get in touch with our friendly and compassionate team for advice and guidance. 

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