Eulogy Writing – Gathering Your Thoughts

TheFuneralsite.com‘s  new Eulogy Resource Center has an incredibly helpful series of articles on how to write a eulogy. Here is information on the second step to writing an excellent eulogy — gather your thoughts.
Step Two
Gather Your Thoughts

Prepare
Create a space for reflection and writing. Some people may say a prayer or meditate; some may take a walk or light a candle and play calming music. The goal is to have time to stop and focus on what you want to say in the eulogy.


Brainstorm
Write down your thoughts. Don’t worry about punctuation, sentence structure or making sense, just get something down on paper.  Make a list of everything you can possibly think of to include in the eulogy. This is a rough draft of your impressions and memories regarding your loved one.

Here’s list to help spark some things to consider. Of course, you don’t have to write responses to all these questions, just browse through the list and if something tickles a memory or interests you, stop and write a quick note about it

  • Who formed the person’s closest relationships – make sure and include family members who may tend to keep a “low profile” (gay partners, ex-spouses; stepchildren etc.).

  • What were their special accomplishments? (ran marathon, gave up smoking, graduate degree, raising good kids)

  • What were their greatest challenges and struggles? (low self esteem, alcoholism, learning disability, health issues, depression, financial difficulty)

  • What type of personality did the person have?  (Extravert, shy, leader, optimist)

  • Do personality stereotypes fit?  (Serious quiet man, daredevil tom-boy, life of the party, bookworm)

  • What did they most love doing? (never missed an episode of Oprah, couldn’t take his eyes away from a football game, fishing trip to Canada, working in her craft room.)

  • What was the happiest period of their life?

  • What were their hobbies or special interests?

  • What did the person value? Did these values influence you?

  • What are your most meaningful memories of the person?

  • What lessons did you learned from the person?

  • What made the person unique? What made the person unique to you?

  • What legacy does the person leave behind?  Surviving family members, students, did the person improve the world in some way?

  • What was the person committed to? – keeping the family together, church, political group, pickleball, scouts, arts organization, Kiwanis club,

  • Did the person have any habits? – smoker, practical joker, story teller, hugger, whistler

  • Did the person have any unique terms or ways of speaking? (alwaysmispronounced a word, regional accent, informal colloquialisms)

  • What were the person’s talents? (singer, golfer, soccer player, woodworker, listener)

  • If you could say only three things about the person, what would they be?

  • What did you really like about the person?
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