Being tasked to write and give a eulogy is an honor. It signifies that you have a close relationship with the deceased. A eulogy is a heartfelt speech that you give at the funeral or cremation services as your final tribute for the one who passed away. It is also a personal way of saying farewell to the person whose life was lost. In a way, your comforting words allow the deceased to somehow come alive in the minds of the audience.
Who Can Give the Eulogy?
Most people associate eulogies with famous people. However, anyone who wants to include a eulogy in the funeral program can do so. Typically, family, close friends, and even colleagues of the deceased are tasked to give a eulogy. Remember, you are not required to be an excellent writer or orator to say this speech. All you need to have is a sincerity to deliver a meaningful eulogy so you can capture the deceased’s life and give the person the honor he or she deserves.
There is no right or wrong method of writing this speech. Every eulogy is different because it depends on the person giving the speech and the deceased who is the subject. It is perfectly understandable why quite a lot of people feel nervous about finding the right words to say. After all, the circumstances in a funeral can be quite heavy and emotional. As a family member or close friend of the deceased, you, as the eulogist, may also be grappling with your grief. This is a herculean responsibility, so it is clear why there is pressure to get things done well.
What Details to Include
The number one rule of writing is to pen your words with the audience in mind. Chances are, the crowd will be comprised of family and close friends of the deceased. Of course, since it is a highly emotional period, you’ll want to include something uplifting and inspiring to comfort your audience. Mention snippets of what makes the deceased special. This eulogy is your chance to capture the essence of the one being laid to rest.
You must be honest but also selective! The bereaved loved ones want to hear good things and forget the bad stuff. Include accomplishments, endearing qualities, and other fun anecdotes about your special relationship with the deceased. Although a funeral is generally sad, this doesn’t mean you cannot inject a little bit of tasteful humor in your speech. Remember, laughter is dubbed as the best medicine for a reason.
When you start writing, don’t forget to acknowledge the audience. You can start by introducing yourself and your relationship with the deceased. Be mindful of your word count when writing. Keep your speech to about 4 to 7 minutes long to keep everyone’s attention. In eulogies, less is indeed more! A brief but meaningful speech shows consideration for people who have other pressing engagements after the service. If you truly are out of words, you can use funeral poems, music, or inspiring quotes to express your emotions.
How to Speak
Even the most experienced public speakers may find it nerve-wracking to deliver a eulogy. The sad atmosphere can be disheartening. If you are feeling nervous and self-conscious, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Most eulogists are a bundle of nerves too when they stand on the podium. However, with a little practice, you can calm your nerves and give a touching speech that honors your deceased loved one.
Make it an effort to rehearse your eulogy several times before the memorial services. If you can, read it to someone so you can ask for their feedback. If you have no one, saying it in front of the mirror will help. Make sure to speak slowly and maintain eye contact from time to time. Think of your eulogy as speaking with a close friend. A conversational tone evokes a friendlier vibe, which is okay because you are surrounded by family, friends, and acquaintances who share your grief.
Practice indeed makes perfect because saying your speech out loud will also help you polish your text. Furthermore, when you are familiar with the words, you minimize the chances of getting lost when you’re caught up with your emotions. Putting the effort to practice will also boost your confidence level.
Eulogies are the most difficult speeches anyone can ever write and recite. This personal and heartfelt speech must encapsulate the life of the who being laid to rest. How can anyone do justice to that in a span of a few minutes? Though it is a difficult task, you must do your best to honor the life once lived by your loved one. Nicely written eulogies mean a lot to a grieving family. It may be difficult to put everything into words, but speaking with your heart will help. After all, what makes a perfect eulogy is not only in the writing and delivery but in its meaning.