HELPING CREATE A MEANINGFUL EULOGY
Writing and delivering a eulogy is a loving, important gesture that merits your time and attention. Though the task may seem daunting right now, you’ll find that once you start jotting down ideas, your eulogy will come together naturally. Afterwards, many who attend the funeral will thank you for your contribution, and your eulogy will be cherished always by the family and friends of the person who has passed away.
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED.
*Be brave. The thought of writing a speech and presenting it in public makes many people anxious. Set aside your fears for now. You can do this. Focus on the person who passed away and the gift you will be giving all who knew and loved him or her.
*Think. Before you start writing, go for a long walk or drive and think about the life of the person who passed away. This will help you collect your thoughts and focus on writing the eulogy.
*Brainstorm. Spend half an hour (longer if you want) writing down all the thoughts, ideas and memories that come to you.
*Ask others to share memories. A good way to include others in the ceremony is to ask them to share thoughts and memories, which you can then incorporate into the eulogy.
*Look at photos. Flipping through photo albums may remind you of important qualities and memories of the person who died.
*Write a draft. Once you’ve brain stormed and collected memories, it’s time to write the first draft. Go somewhere quiet and write it all in one sitting, start to finish. Don’t worry about getting it perfect now – just get it down on paper.
*Let it sit. If time allows, let your eulogy draft sit for a few hours or a day before revising.
*Get a second opinion. Have someone else, preferably someone who was close to the person who died, read over your draft at this point. This person can make revision suggestions and help you avoid inadvertently saying something that might offend others.
*Polish. Read over your first draft. Look for awkward phrases or stiff wording. Improve the transitions from paragraph to paragraph or thought to thought. Find adjectives and verbs that really capture the essence of the person who died.
*Present your eulogy with love. Now you need to present your eulogy. You may feel nervous, but if you can keep your focus on the person who died instead of your own fears, you’ll loosen up. If you break down as you’re talking, that’s OK. Everyone will understand. Just stop a few seconds, collect yourself and continue.
*Speak up. It’s very important that you speak clearly and loudly so that everyone can hear you.
A final word - Again, the word eulogy means “praise or blessing”. Your willingness to help create a personalized meaningful eulogy is, in fact, a very real blessing.
The following form will help you get started and hopefully, by the time you are at the end of the page you are on your way to a very meaningful tribute.