How To Write Eulogy

Many people aren't very familiar with the concept of eulogy writing and may find themselves not only honored by also confused by the request to write and give one. We want to help you with this important and complex task, giving you some tips on eulogy writing.

Let's start with the basics.

What is a eulogy?

Before you'll learn how to write a eulogy, you need to understand what exactly it is and how it should look. A eulogy is a speech people give at funerals. As hard as it might sound, a eulogy actually is a very important part of saying your farewells and an opportunity to honor a person that passed one last time. So if you were asked to write a eulogy, this means that you were indeed an important part of this person's life.

Such task might seem too responsible and make you anxious. However, writing a eulogy is not as hard as you might think. After all, unlike an essay writer who needs to follow certain rules, all you need to do is to speak from your heart. So if you want to learn how to write a eulogy for a father, for another family member or a friend, remember the most important thing first: it has to sound (and be) natural.

Why do you need to learn how to write a eulogy?

If the eulogy itself should be natural, why do you need to write one in the first place? Wouldn't it be easier to simply speak from your heart at the funeral?

Many people wonder that and it's understandable why they do so. However, organizing your thoughts and stories into a speech is important not only for the sake of the funeral itself but for your own sake as well. A person could easily become overwhelmed with feelings, to find themselves struggling to continue, and so on. While it's natural and could happen to anyone, you would minimize the chances of this happening by preparing a eulogy in advance and rehearsing it a couple of times.

How to write a eulogy for a friend or family member?

If you are the only person, who's going to deliver a eulogy, consider talking to the family members and to close friends of the person that passed. Ask them if maybe they want to include their own stories or some mentions in the eulogy, to share something with the others. Doing so will give you the opportunity to make your eulogy more diverse and to let the other people participate in it.

If you aren't the only person, who's going to deliver a eulogy, focus on your own stories and experience with the person. Come up with some - and then pick the ones that fit the eulogy the most, to your opinion. This will give you something good to start with.

Then you can move to the writing itself.

How to write a good eulogy?

A eulogy has a simple structure. You introduce yourself, say, who you were for that person. Then you share some stories about the person and tell the audience who that person was and why they would be missed so much.

You can also include some additional details to achieve that:

  • when they were born;
  • who is their close family;
  • their nicknames;
  • their education;
  • their favorite quotes or songs;
  • acknowledgment of guests (it's especially important when there are some who did travel a long distance);
  • things they have contributed to the community.

After that, you can end your eulogy with something that would once again remind everyone about the importance of the person that passed.

While learning more about the structure of a eulogy is indeed important, it might still leave you wondering how to write a eulogy for a mother, another family member, or a friend. So let's focus more on how to express what you have to say.

How to express what you have to say in a eulogy?

Your eulogy could be mostly fact-based and chronological, with only a bit of something personal in the end. Or it could be personal mostly, or even a bit humorous.

It all depends on a person you were writing a eulogy for and on the people present at a funeral as well. If your loved one loved a good joke, it would be okay to include some in your eulogy or to make the whole eulogy more lighthearted. However, if you believe that it would be considered inappropriate, avoid such things.

How long should your eulogy be?

Knowing that sometimes funerals last for only a specific period of time, it's important to ensure that you'll be able to give your eulogy without any hurry. Therefore, always try to make clear how much time do you have.

Keep in mind that everything might also go slower than you expected - for example, you could still find yourself overwhelmed during the speech. So always try to save some time for that.

In general, a eulogy lasts from three to five minutes and rarely expected ten minutes. When it comes to words, it's usually around 500-1000. But keep in mind that different people speak differently. If you're a slow speaker, you might not be able to deliver a 1000-word long eulogy in time.

How to give a eulogy?

Once you've finished writing and editing your eulogy, you should start practicing it. It's always a good idea, even if you hadn't had any problems with public speaking before. You need to get used to saying all these words (potentially touching and hard to say), you need to understand how long your eulogy would last, and so on. Therefore, don't miss that part. Try practicing at least a couple of times before a funeral.

Now that you know how to write a eulogy for a grandmother, another member of the family or a close friend, all you need to do is to ensure that it'll go smoothly. Don't neglect practice, speak slowly during the process (so everyone could hear you), and don't forget to keep a glass of water near in case you would want to drink.

Hopefully, you'll be able to do this well and to give an amazing eulogy to your loved one.