Creating a eulogy is one of the most honorable – and challenging – moments you may encounter.
If you offer, or are called upon, to eulogize a loved one, it’s something that you’ll want to get right for the deceased, their family, and yourself as well. Whether in written or spoken form, a eulogy is an encompassing term of endearment and remembrance that can have a lasting impact on those who are mourning a loss.
Eulogies can incorporate many themes about the deceased person. They can be funny, witty, sad, introspective – all these emotional angles are acceptable as long as they’re honest. And that’s one of the key factors to consider when writing a eulogy.
Here are a few important steps in creating and delivering this unique farewell.
- Understand the audience.
This is a crucial first step. Whether the audience is family only, or friends also, or others, your audience will help dictate what to say or not say. You must also consider their feelings, especially if this eulogy is spoken aloud. It’s a highly emotional time, so being aware of others’ feelings and reactions in regard to the person who has passed will help guide your process.
- Consider the deceased.
Even if it’s someone you knew extremely well – a family member for instance – it’s important to speak with other people who were close to him or her about the eulogy. This will help get your facts and stories in order and correct. Think of the person you’ve lost – what did they enjoy? What were they like? Consider creating a story that they would want to hear about themselves.
- Writing strategies.
Organizing your thoughts, memories and anecdotes of the deceased can be difficult. If you’re speaking the eulogy, you can choose to have notes handy to help you, as it’s a good idea to be as thorough as possible so you won’t forget anything. If it’s in longer, written form, you’ll need to decide on the tone. Will this 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 also help dictate the tone and angle you want to convey.
Use specific examples and applicable stories. Funeral services are a remembrance after all, so sharing important or even entertaining stories of the person are appropriate. Talk about the good things in their lives, including family who are present, and encourage that shared fondness.
Once you’ve written out a first draft, get feedback from those close to the deceased. Make sure it’s meeting their expectations and that there will be no miscommunicated segments.
In addition to all the above, write from the heart. If you’re honest and genuine with your feelings and thoughts, it will translate into a moving eulogy that those who experience it will remember with fondness.
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