In the midst of the grief of losing a loved one, many tasks need to be accomplished. One is the writing of the eulogy. If you are the person tasked with this, here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
Step 1: Gather Information
Writing a eulogy is not easy; the simplest way to start is to simply gather all the information possible. At this point, do not worry about what information you will actually use in the eulogy itself. Information can include:
- Basics such as age, date and place of birth;
- Family and close friends;
- Holidays and travels;
- Where they resided over the years;
- Memories and characteristics;
- Faith; and
- What will be missed the most.
Step 2: Organize Information
Throughout the process of collecting the material, you might recognize recurring themes or thoughts. This is the time to start organizing those together. A eulogy often consists of the following four parts:
- Introduce yourself and your relationship with the deceased.
- Acknowledge any guests who have travelled to attend the service.
2. Memories/Characteristics of Deceased
- This is the longest portion of the eulogy.
- Talk about the deceased’s unique characteristics and their impact on the lives of others.
- This is often accomplished through the retelling of memories or stories of the person’s life.
3. Uplifting or Comforting Idea
- Could be a favorite poem, quote, song, or passage from the Bible.
- Wrap up with a quick summary.
- Say a final good-bye to your loved one.
Step 3: Write the Eulogy
This is often the hardest part of the process, especially when you are staring at a blank piece of paper and do not know where to begin, even with all the information gathered and organized. Following these steps should make it easier:
1. Body of your Speech
- Write the body of the speech first.
- This is where you talk about the memories or stories of your loved one.
- Write the conclusion next.
- This often flows naturally from the body of the speech.
- Write the opening last.
- Now that you know what the rest of the eulogy includes, it is easier to write the introduction.
Step 4: Read Aloud and Revise
It is best to read the eulogy aloud when revising it. As you hear it, you become aware if something does not make sense or does not flow. It is also a good idea to read it aloud to at least one other individual in order to get their feedback. Listen for the following:
- Does your eulogy flow from one idea to the next?
- Listen for repeated phrases and ideas that need revising.
- Listen to make sure you do not ramble on without a point.
- Are your sentences varied in length?
- Have you included opening and closing remarks?
- Time yourself.
- If necessary, make revisions and repeat the process of reading aloud.
As your go through this process of writing a eulogy, take the time to grieve, reminisce, and laugh with family and friends. This is a time to gather together and honor your loved one.