Creating a eulogy is one of the most honorable – and difficult – times you can ever encounter.
If you are offering or are invited to eulogize a loved one, it is something you will want to do for the deceased, their family and yourself as well. Whether in written or spoken form, a eulogy is an encompassing term of affection and remembrance that can have a lasting impact on those grieving a loss.
Eulogies can incorporate many themes about the deceased person. They can be funny, witty, sad, introspective – all of these emotional angles are acceptable as long as they are honest. And this is one of the key factors to consider when writing a eulogy.
Here are some important steps in the creation and delivery of this unique farewell.
This is a crucial first step. Whether the audience is just family, friends, or other people, your audience will help dictate what to say and what not to say. You also need to consider their feelings, especially if this praise is being spoken out loud. This is a very emotional time, so being aware of others’ feelings and reactions to the deceased person will help guide your process.
Even if it’s someone you know extremely well—a family member, for example—it’s important to discuss the eulogy with other people close to them. This will help you put your facts and stories in order and correct them. Think about the person you lost – what did they love? How were they? Consider creating a story they would like to hear about themselves.
Organizing your thoughts, memories and stories about the deceased can be difficult. If you’re giving the eulogy, you may choose to have notes handy to help you out, as it’s a good idea to be as thorough as possible so you don’t forget anything. If it’s in a longer written form, you’ll have to decide on the tone. Will it be serious and sad? Or upbeat and funny? A mix of both? Something different? Read it aloud as you write it. This will help your writing be clearer and will also help dictate the tone and angle you want to convey.
Use specific examples and applicable stories. Funeral services are a keepsake after all, so it’s appropriate to share important or even entertaining stories of the person. Talk about the good things in their lives, including the family who is present, and encourage this shared tenderness.
Once you’ve written a first draft, get feedback from loved ones of the deceased. Make sure it meets their expectations and that there will be no poorly communicated segments.
In addition to all of the above, write from the heart. If you are honest and genuine with your feelings and thoughts, it will result in a moving eulogy that will be fondly remembered by those who have experienced it.
For more information on eulogies or any other part of funeral services or planning, please visit www.thejonesfh.com or call us at 815-288-2241.
Jones Funeral Home
204 S. Ottawa Ave.
Dixon, IL 61021