Writing the eulogy for a loved one can be a difficult and stressful time for many. Following a period of mourning, you are being asked to relive all of your favorite memories with the deceased and summarize them in a short speech, which can be overwhelming for some. However, it doesn't have to be stressful if you approach it in the right way:
Treat It As a Gift
Being asked to condense all of your memories into three or four minutes can be stressful. However, your eulogy is a gift to all of the attendees and the words you speak will give everyone (including yourself) some much needed comfort.
Eulogies can be an arm around the shoulder of a grieving relative. They are able to live vicariously through your stories, remembering the times they treasured with the deceased. It may not provide the answers they are looking for, but it will allow them to grieve in comfort.
Memorable funeral or cremation speeches should celebrate the entire life of the deceased: their ups, their downs, their trials and their tribulations. Your courage to address these times with empathy will be appreciated by all in attendance.
Preparing For Your Speech
Before making notes on the speech itself, make sure you know your purpose. The approach you take will depend on your relationship with the deceased and your purpose for speaking. Are you speaking on behalf of the family? Are you a close friend or colleague? By formalizing your purpose you will be able to tailor the speech accordingly.
After this, write down all your thoughts and feelings on the deceased, gathering as much information as possible from relatives and work colleagues. This will add to your memories and allow you to offer a deeper life-story of the deceased.
Have a look at old photographs in order to jog the memory. Reliving old experiences through photographs, achievements or places can help you to remember things that you may overlook.
What To Include
It may be difficult to narrow your memories down to four or five minutes, so the critical things to add are:
- Personal stories, anecdotes and memories. Anything that allows the family to remember good times are always valued.
- Any tough times the deceased overcame. This shouldn't be viewed in the negative; rather, you should aim to focus on the person's strength and how they overcame challenges.
- Any memorable quips or words of wisdom from the deceased.
- Funny moments. Funerals and cremations are generally sad times, so you can lighten up the mood with a little humor. Be careful with this however - too much can be a bad thing.
Finally, remember that a funeral speech is your change to honor the deceased. You have a crucial role to play giving a eulogy, so make sure you deliver it properly and with compassion. To learn more, try contacting a company like Boone & Cooke Inc. Funeral Home & Crematory for help.