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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.

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