What Should Be Included in a Eulogy?
As the famous author John Green once said in his inspiring best selling book turned movie called The Fault in Our Stars, funerals are more for the living, not the dead. Apart from celebrating the life of the deceased and naming all the great things about them, eulogies must, first and foremost, comfort the hurt. Eulogies are given to appease the ones left behind because the one saying the eulogy expresses thoughts, feelings, and experiences that honor the deceased.
What is a eulogy?
If you are invited to give a eulogy in a funeral or cremation services, this exemplifies that you have a close relationship with the deceased. A eulogy is a key component in the service that makes it more meaningful. It is a speech that encapsulates the life of the one who passed away, what he or she was like, the characteristics, and achievements. Clearly, the one being spoken about will no longer hear the beautiful words in the speech. However, through this tribute, the memory of the dead can be celebrated.
A eulogy is essentially your farewell to your dearly departed loved one. If you are not used to public speaking, you may feel nervous about facing a room full of mourners. But fret not because what you are feeling is completely normal. However, you must do your very best to overcome your apprehensions to effectively deliver your final goodbye to the one you are laying to rest.
What must I put in the speech?
If you feel nervous because you don’t know what to talk about, just remember that there is no right or wrong way to get this done. No two eulogies are exactly alike because this is based on your personal relationship with the deceased. There are no strict rules that state your speech must be sad or serious. In fact, you can inject some happy thoughts in your eulogy to uplift the mood. Should you feel lost, consider the following suggestions below to help you write your eulogy:
- Share personal anecdotes
One of the best things to include in your eulogy is an anecdote about your past experiences with the one who died. Share your fun and laughable memories to brighten the atmosphere and allow the bereaved to remember the best parts and characteristics of their departed loved one. These anecdotes will give the funeral attendees a moment to laugh and look back on the positive impact the deceased had on them. Refocus their attention to the celebration of the life that this person once lived so beautifully.
- Include uplifting quotes
A great element to include in your eulogy is an uplifting quote. Quotes have always been a great add-on to any written or oral piece. They have the beauty of brevity coupled with deep meaning. Choose to add an inspiring quote to your eulogy so the people listening can cling onto hope. Through your speech, you can remind everyone that things will eventually get better as the days go by. You may even select a quote about love to remind them of the great bond they shared with their departed family members or friends.
- Inject inspirational song lyrics
Nothing warms the heart more than beautiful melodies and wonderful lyrics. Remember, songs evoke strong emotion in their melodies, and they have the power to convey meaningful messages in their lyrics. Adding your favorite inspirational song lyrics or singing the song entirely will lighten up the mood. You may even sing a favorite song of the deceased and dedicate it to him or her, and to the family left behind. Music speaks gently to the heart and soul, and songs that inspire will easily quiet the bereaved family’s weary minds and hearts.
- Consider adding poems
Funeral poems are the perfect addition to your eulogy. Choose one of the deceased’s favorite inspirational poems or one of yours. A poem that is nicely worded with a good flow and meaningful message will touch the hearts of the mourning family members. You may even opt to write your own poem to honor the deceased, and this poem can even serve as the eulogy itself. Be creative and let what is in your heart flow out onto paper. Don’t be afraid to bare your soul.
What other things should I remember?
Do keep in mind that your speech must not exceed 15 minutes. Usually, more than one person is giving a eulogy in a funeral service. Be mindful of the time because there may also be other religious rituals that need to be conducted. If you want to be certain, you can ask the person in charge of the funeral program.
It is normal to feel emotional when you are delivering your speech. If you shed a few tears, that is fine. It shows your genuine closeness to the one who passed away. Do your best to deliver a heartwarming eulogy because this is your final farewell and your last chance to show how the deceased means to you before the interment.