Tips for writing a eulogy


As a funeral director, I stand witness to the raw tapestry of human grief in all its poignant shades. Yet, amidst the tears and heartbreak, there shines a quiet courage in those who choose to step forward and speak for their loved ones in the crucible of a eulogy. It is an act of immense vulnerability, a sharing of the soul laid bare before friends, family, and strangers alike with these tips for writing a eulogy.

But where do you begin? How do you weave the golden threads of a life into a tapestry that truly captures the essence of someone so dearly missed? Worry not, dear reader, for in this post, I, your friendly neighborhood funeral director, spill the secrets of crafting a eulogy that resonates, that heals, and that truly honors the memory of your beloved.

#1 Tips For Writing A Eulogy; Gather the Shards of Memory:

Before your pen touches paper, embark on a sacred pilgrimage of remembrance. Travel the highways of memory, visit the quaint villages of shared laughter, and explore the hidden caves of private moments. Talk to family and friends, not just about achievements and milestones, but about the little things – the twinkle in their eyes when telling a joke, the way they hummed their favorite tune while driving, the gentle touch that spoke volumes without a word.

Don’t shy away from the shadows, either. Grief is a multifaceted jewel, and acknowledging the struggles, setbacks, and even complexities of your loved one paints a more complete picture. Remember, a life fully lived is seldom one woven solely from silken threads.

#2 Structure Your Tapestry:

With your memories gathered, it’s time to create a framework. Think of your eulogy as a three-act play. In the first act, introduce your protagonist – your loved one. Paint a vivid picture with details, anecdotes, and perhaps even a touch of humor. Allow the audience to see them not just as someone who departed, but as the vibrant soul they were in life.

The second act is your canvas for storytelling. Choose two or three pivotal moments, defining chapters in your loved one’s journey. These could be triumphs against adversity, acts of unexpected kindness, or simply moments that encapsulate their unique spirit. Dive into the scene, show, don’t tell, and let the audience live these memories with you.

The final act is a bridge between grief and gratitude. Acknowledge the loss, but don’t linger in the shadows. Speak of the impact your loved one had on you and others, the lessons they taught, and the legacy they leave behind. End on a note of hope, a gentle reminder that their memory lives on, woven into the very fabric of our lives.

Tips For Writing A Eulogy
Tips For Writing A Eulogy

#3 Embroider with Words:

Your words are the thread that binds your tapestry together. Choose them carefully, with an eye towards evoking emotion and painting vivid pictures. Don’t be afraid to borrow from poetry, literature, or even song lyrics that resonate with your loved one’s essence. Inject humor where appropriate, for laughter heals as much as tears. And most importantly, speak from the heart. Authenticity is the most precious thread you can weave into your eulogy.

#4 Practice Makes Perfect:

Once your tapestry is complete, don’t rush onto the stage. Rehearse your eulogy aloud, preferably in front of a trusted friend or family member. Practice pacing, pausing for emphasis, and conquering any stumbles. Remember, you are not delivering a performance, but sharing a deeply personal story. Speak naturally, with genuine emotion, and trust your words to carry the weight of your love.

A Few Final Tips For Writing A Eulogy:

  • Keep it concise: Aim for 10-15 minutes, allowing space for others to share their memories.
  • Mind the tone: Balance lighthearted moments with the gravity of the occasion.
  • Prepare for tears: They are a natural part of the process, and allowing them to flow can add authenticity.
  • Thank your audience: Express your gratitude for their presence and support.

Writing a eulogy can be daunting, but remember, it is not a burden, but a privilege. It is a chance to celebrate a life, to offer solace to others, and to weave your loved one’s memory into the tapestry of eternity. So take a deep breath, pen in hand, and let your heart guide you. The world awaits your tapestry of love and loss, and your loved one’s spirit will forever hum within its intricate threads.

Remember, dear reader, I am always here, not just in the hushed halls of the funeral home, but in the quiet corners of your grief. Should you need a guiding hand, a listening ear, or simply a cup of tea and a shoulder to cry on, do not hesitate to reach out. Together, we can weave a tapestry of remembrance that mends the broken threads of loss and celebrates the lives of those we love, even in their absence.

Frequently Asked Questions: Tips For Writing A Eulogy

Tips For Writing A Eulogy; Pre-Writing:

I’m feeling overwhelmed. Where do I even begin?

Start by gathering memories. Talk to family and friends, look through photos and old letters, and simply allow yourself to reminisce. Don’t worry about structure or form at this stage – just focus on capturing the essence of your loved one.

What if I can’t remember everything?

Don’t be afraid to ask others for their memories. You can even create a collaborative memory board where everyone can share their favorite stories. Remember, every piece adds to the richness of the tapestry.

My loved one had a complex life. Is it okay to talk about difficult aspects?

Absolutely. Authenticity is key, and acknowledging the ups and downs of their life paints a more complete picture. However, do so with sensitivity and respect, focusing on how they overcame challenges or learned from their experiences.

I’m worried about being emotional during the delivery.

It’s natural to feel emotional – in fact, your vulnerability can strengthen the impact of your eulogy. Allow yourself to feel and express your emotions; genuine tears can be incredibly moving for the audience.

Tips For Writing A Eulogy; Writing:

What should I include in the introduction?

Start by introducing yourself and your relationship to the deceased. Share a brief anecdote or description that captures their personality or essence.

How many stories should I tell?

Choose two or three pivotal moments that truly showcase your loved one’s character, values, or impact. Focus on stories that are vivid and engaging, allowing the audience to experience them alongside you.

How do I balance humor and seriousness?

Humor can be a powerful tool for healing but use it carefully and sparingly. Choose anecdotes that highlight your loved one’s sense of humor or lightheartedness without taking away from the gravity of the occasion.

What if I get writer’s block?

Take a break! Step away from the writing and return with fresh eyes later. You can also try freewriting – just write whatever comes to mind, even if it seems nonsensical at first. Sometimes, hidden gems can emerge from unstructured writing.

Tips For Writing A Eulogy; Delivery:

I’m not a public speaker. What if I mess up?

Remember, you’re not aiming for perfection. Speak from the heart, with genuine emotion. The audience is there to support you, and even slight stumbles can add vulnerability and authenticity.

What if I can’t read the entire eulogy without breaking down?

Prepare notecards with key points and favorite quotes. Allow yourself to pause, take deep breaths, and even hand the microphone to someone else for a moment if needed. The audience will understand.

Can I use quotes or poems in my eulogy?

Absolutely! Incorporating quotes or poems that resonate with your loved one’s story or personality can add depth and beauty to your eulogy. Just make sure they are appropriate and fit seamlessly within your text.

How long should my eulogy be?

Aim for 10-15 minutes. You want to share meaningful stories and emotions, but respect the time constraints of the service and avoid overwhelming the audience.

Most importantly, how can I ensure my eulogy honors my loved one?

Write from the heart, with authenticity and love. Share their stories, their quirks, their lessons, and the impact they had on your life. Let your eulogy be a heartfelt celebration of their existence, a testament to the love they shared, and a gentle reminder that their memory lives on within all of us.

Remember, there are no rigid rules for writing a eulogy. Use these FAQs as a guide, but ultimately, trust your intuition and let your love for your loved one guide your words.

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