How to write and deliver a eulogy

4th June 2024#environmental#funerals#natural-burial
How to write and deliver a eulogy

Rhi Leedam

Managing Director

Writing and delivering a eulogy is a profound and deeply personal experience. It’s an opportunity to honour and celebrate the life of a loved one, sharing memories, stories, and sentiments that capture their essence. While it can be a daunting task, with thoughtful preparation and heartfelt delivery, a eulogy can be a beautiful tribute that brings comfort and closure to those who are grieving. Here’s a guide to help you craft and deliver a meaningful eulogy.

Step 1: Understanding the Purpose of a Eulogy

A eulogy serves multiple purposes:

Celebration of Life: It highlights the achievements, personality, and unique qualities of the deceased.

Comfort for the Living: It provides solace and a sense of connection to those who are mourning.

Reflection and Remembrance: It offers an opportunity to reflect on the impact the deceased had on others’ lives.

Step 2: Gather Information and Reflect

Personal Memories: Think about your own memories and experiences with the deceased. What stories or moments stand out to you?

Input from Others: Talk to family members, friends, and colleagues to gather additional anecdotes and perspectives.

Milestones and Achievements: Note significant milestones, accomplishments, and contributions in their life.

Step 3: Structure Your Eulogy

A well-structured eulogy helps convey your message clearly and effectively. Here’s a suggested outline:

Introduction: Introduce yourself and your relationship to the deceased. Briefly mention the purpose of the eulogy.

Life Overview: Provide a brief overview of the person’s life, including key milestones and achievements.

Personal Stories: Share personal anecdotes and stories that highlight their character, values, and impact on others.

Qualities and Characteristics: Describe their unique qualities and characteristics. What made them special and memorable?

Closing Thoughts: Conclude with a final reflection, perhaps a favourite quote, poem, or a personal message to the deceased.

Step 4: Writing the Eulogy

As you write, keep these tips in mind:

Be Authentic: Write from the heart and be genuine in your words. Authenticity resonates deeply with listeners.

Be Positive: Focus on the positive aspects of the person’s life. Acknowledge their challenges if necessary, but emphasise their strengths and contributions.

Be Concise: Aim for a eulogy that is 5-10 minutes long. This usually translates to about 500-1000 words.

Use Simple Language: Avoid overly complex language. Simple, heartfelt words are often the most powerful.

Step 5: Practise Your Delivery

Once you have written your eulogy, practice delivering it. Here’s how:

Read Aloud: Practice reading the eulogy aloud to get a sense of the flow and timing.

Edit as Needed: Make adjustments for clarity, pacing, and emotional impact.

Seek Feedback: If possible, practice in front of a trusted friend or family member and ask for feedback.

Step 6: Delivering the Eulogy

On the day of the funeral, keep the following tips in mind:

Stay Calm: It’s natural to feel nervous or emotional. Take deep breaths and stay calm.

Speak Slowly: Speak slowly and clearly to ensure that everyone can understand you.

Make Eye Contact: If possible, make eye contact with the audience to create a sense of connection.

Embrace Emotions: It’s okay to show emotions. If you need to pause to collect yourself, do so. Your sincerity will be appreciated.

Conclusion

Writing and delivering a eulogy is a deeply moving experience. It is a chance to honour a loved one’s life, share cherished memories, and provide comfort to those who are grieving. By taking the time to thoughtfully prepare and deliver a heartfelt eulogy, you create a lasting tribute that celebrates the life and legacy of the deceased.

Remember, there is no perfect way to write or deliver a eulogy. What matters most is the love and respect you convey through your words.