Eulogy Writing – the writing part

Writing a eulogy for a funeral?  The funeral planning website has an excellent Eulogy Resource Center with a series of articles on eulogy writing.  Sample eulogies and eulogies of famous people are included.
Now comes the hard part. You’ve collected information, gathered your thoughts, organized the material, now it’s time to actually write it up. For me this is the hardest part.
Step Four
Write the Eulogy

A eulogy is a speech. You don’t need to write it word-for-word, but writing out the eulogy word-for-word is recommended if helps you prepare or if you’re concerned that you may need to read it word-for-word or you’re concerned you may need to ask someone else to read the eulogy on your behalf.   It’s a good insurance policy to have the words available should it need to be read word-for-word.

If you don’t write it out word-for-word, you may want to write out key points to keep your eulogy focused on the structure you’ve established. Some people like to put these points on note cards others prefer a single sheet of paper. You will want to write out quotes, poems or song lyrics in case you want the exact words available.

If you write out the eulogy word-for-word, remember the eulogy is written to be read aloud. When we speak normally, we don’t speak in perfect sentences. What’s important isn’t the grammar, but the points you are making and the stories you are telling.

Finally, be specific and personal. Including some details will bring make the stories real.

Eulogies, like most things in life, have three parts:  a beginning, middle and end.

Beginning Section of the Eulogy.

The beginning establishes the theme for the speech.

Unless you are positive everyone in attendance knows who you are, introduce yourself and your relationship to the person being honored. Explain how you fit into the life of the person.

  • Example – My name is ________ and I worked with Phil for thirty years at Amaco before he retired a couple of years ago.

  • Example – My name is ______ and, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Janice’s oldest daughter from her first marriage to Jack.

It may be easiest and best to get straight to the point.

  • Example – There are many things for which ____ will be remembered, but what I will never forget is her sense of humor…..

You may want to start the eulogy with a short quote, a story or a statement.

  • Example – In the words of ________’s favorite hero, John Wayne: “A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.” ______ was a man who had a clear sense of right and wrong, and was consistent in what he believed. In his life and his work, ______ lived the core values that are the Marine character – honor, courage and commitment. My name is _________ and I’m _______’s nephew.

  • Example – “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” – Matthew7:12  All us kids heard mom recite the Golden Rule many times while growing up. In looking at her life I can tell you mom practiced what she preached. My name is _______ and I’m Helen’s daughter.

  • If you are going to invite the audience to come forward and speak, you should give them advance notice in the beginning of the speech so they have time to prepare what they may want to say.

    If you don’t know how to start, don’t waste time worrying about it. Write the middle first and think about how to begin afterwards.

    Middle Section of the Eulogy

    This is the main part of the eulogy. This is where you’ll use the memories, stories and

    impressions you’ve collected and organized.
    End Section of the Eulogy

    You may want to start the closing with a summary of the eulogy.

    • Example – ____ lived a long and happy life

    • Example – _________was an extraordinary person, she was a person of great passion, and devotion.

    • Example – _____ certainly was a fighter

    The closing provides an opportunity to thank those in attendance and acknowledge the importance of friends and family during difficult times. You may also want to thank those who supported the person and the family during a long illness.

    • Example – Thank you to Dr. Barns, the hospice nurse ______ and all the wonderful people who brought meals to support us during the final weeks.

    Close with a quote or reading. Explain why this verse is being read and then say the verse quietly and sincerely.

    • Example – In closing I’d like to read the lyrics to ___‘s favorite song

    • Example – I feel that ____ this poem best reflects ________

    Close with a blessing.

    • Example – Being Irish and I thought I’d conclude by reading The Irish Blessing

    Close with a song.  Explain why that song was chosen for the closing.

    • Example – In closing I’d like to have _____’s favorite song played. She listened to this song on her last day with us.

    Close with a short sentence of farewell.

    • Example – I love you ______

  • Example – ______ you will be missed and will always be loved.
  • – Anna
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