How to Write an Eulogy
The first thing you want to do, is get a blank sheet of paper and write down a few lines on what message you want to convey to in the eulogy. This is private use only but it will help gather your thoughts and will allow write the eulogy more freely.
Secondly you want to write down all the great things that you loved about the person. Describe their characteristics and who they were. This is so that you can honour the person appropriately by making the eulogy clear and focused. It can be hard to deliver and write an eulogy so it is important. You should maybe consult family and friends so that you’ll be able to have a full picture, everyone will have their own stories and impressions. Write it in your own way.
Thirdly, remember that when you are writing the eulogy that as long as it is heartfelt. The first draft is not going to be the finished eulogy. It is best to put it aside for 30 minutes when you have it done, and then come back with a fresh mind to work on the second draft of the eulogy.
Remember that a eulogy is a great honour to give but also a very difficult task as well, it just has to be heartfelt and through to your emotions. It has to reflect what other people may need to hear as well. It is part of the act of healing and honoring that is part of the grief and bereavement process. There is in reality no right or wrong when you write an eulogy.
So here is a step by step process for developing the piece that is the best that it can be.
Step 1: Stories and memories.
Get some family and friends together in a group and look back at stories, shared experiences and memories. It really is here that you’ll figure out what you want to say and more importantly how to say it. This is also a positive organic way of coming to terms with grief and a lot of good memories can come flooding back.
Step 2: Review and flesh out memories.
Go through some of you most favourite ones, flesh out ideas and quotes. Which ones paint a picture?
Step 3: Develop a central theme.
Organize the writing of a eulogy around a central theme, it can be anything like strength of character, giving nature, always tried his best for his family. Look at the notes and this will strike you. I think if it is heartfelt then it will define itself.
Step 4: Develop a structure.
Introduction, middle and end. Make a piece that flows over 20 minutes. It may sound like a long time but you will be surprised how quickly it goes.
Step 5: Editing.
Put it down for an hour and walk away and do something else, focus on what that is. Come back and read what you have written and amend accordingly. Writing a piece without breaks is twice as challenging, when you edit after a break the eulogy will take a much more cohesive feel to it.
Step 6: Test run.
Read through it several times and then stand up face the wall and read it as if you were at the service, out loud.
It might be an idea as well to let someone close to you read over it and see if they have any suggestions.
Step 7: Delivery.
At the heart of the grieving process and the eulogy is a key concept I believe. There is of course the hurt of loss but remember it is also a change to give thanks for the shared times together. To live as a human, to be aware of love and life is a rare gift. Be thankful for the moments of joy, how ever brief. We all know from personal experience that this can be a difficult approach when it is so raw.
Image By Power_of_Words_by_Antonio_Litterio.jpg: Antonio Litterioderivative work: InverseHypercube – Power_of_Words_by_Antonio_Litterio.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17662006
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