When it comes to summarizing the life a loved one in a eulogy, the thought can be overwhelming. It can be daunting to even find out the basics of writing a eulogy. While we can’t help you with the actual delivery of your loved one’s eulogy, we will help you with the basic items that are often used.
Lesson One in the Basics of Writing a Eulogy: Know Your Audience
The first lesson in knowing what to include in a eulogy is to look at who is your audience and where you are speaking. Some religions will have different guidelines for what should and should not be talked about. For example, the Catholic community officially discourages eulogies but lays out the guidelines for “words of remembrance.” By speaking to the funeral director, you should be able to find out if there are specific requirements for speaking at the funeral.
General Guidelines for Writing a Eulogy
Once you have determined that there aren’t other requirements, you can use the information below to help shape your eulogy. These items below do not all have to be included, but are general guidelines that can help shape how you talk about your loved one. Also keep in mind the length of time that is given to you to speak. You may need to pare some items down to stay within your time limit.
Here are possible speaking points to help with the basics of writing a eulogy:
– Birth details: date, place of birth, parents and siblings
– Growing up years: schooling, favorite past times as a child, sports played, hobbies, favorite pets, memorable childhood moments or stories
– Employment: occupations, accomplishments, awards
– Marriage years: when and where marriage took place, remembrances on how the couple met
– Memorable family moments
– Details of children, their spouses, grandchildren and any other notable family members
– They would like to be remembered for…
– Values, favorite sayings and character qualities
– Life lessons to be passed on
– Favorite past times, hobbies and other accomplishments
Once you have identified the items you would like to include in the eulogy, it is time to sit down and get writing. Remember that the most important part of writing this eulogy is to respect and honor the deceased loved one and their family. Whether you decide to add that favorite joke often told by your loved one or not, do your best to honor those included and give yourself plenty of grace. You can do it!