Eulogy Guide: How to Write and Give a Heartfelt Funeral Speech (with 4 Eulogy examples)

Eulogy Guide: How to Write and Give a Heartfelt Funeral Speech (with 4 Eulogy examples)

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Eulogy Definition

According to the dictionary a eulogy is simply a formal expression of praise for the deceased. It is a way of saying good bye while telling some of the most vivid memories and deeds of the deceased, as well as what he/she meant to the speaker or those in attendance.

Death can come at any time and because of the trauma of that circumstances and the time constraints which is placed on the remaining loved ones, this is placing a real burden on the person who has been selected to make a speech at that funeral service. Nevertheless, one owes it to the person who has died to ensure that everything is well organized and memorable.

One also has to consider the mourning family who would only want to have the very best for their lost one. This is why it will require a substantial amount of careful consideration when it comes to the writing of the eulogy.

It has to give praise where praise is due but it also has to provide attendees with an adequate version of all the accomplishments of the person who has passed away. 

Before we move on to the outline different tips and pieces of advise on how to make and deliver a heartfelt eulogy, I’d like to emphasize that this will be the 14th in a series of posts on several types of speech that one has to deliver at some point or another in life. Please find the link below;

13 Different Types of Speech (How and When to Deliver them and get Desired Results)

eulogy how to write

Eulogy Outline Guide

A eulogy should never be confused with an obituary. An obituary is the death notice which appears in newspapers which is providing the essential and basic facts regarding the passing away of a person. However, and eulogy provides a loved one with the opportunity to elaborate somewhat about everything which the deceased person has been and how they have conducted themselves in various circumstances.

There are people who will struggle tremendously with the formulation and presentation of a eulogy. The entire process will make them very uncomfortable and when it is presented these people might want to rush through the process just to get it over with. However, it is important to fight all of that discomfort and to do everything possible to read that eulogy slowly and clearly so that everyone can understand everything which has to be shared.

Even though there is no formal structure when it comes to the writing of a eulogy it can still be helpful to follow certain simple guidelines. One of the most effective ways is to approach this eulogy just like you would approach a letter which is written to an actual person. This can make the writing process a lot simpler and easier.

It is very important to keep the whole process personal and this is also why the letter-writing approach can help with the preparation of an interesting eulogy.

An easy way to keep that personal touch is to look through old photo albums or read old communications from the deceased. You could also visit the Facebook page of the deceased person and have a look at their social media profiles. This is a very effective way to remind yourself of many things which have happened over the years.

Alternatively, you can pay a visit to the place of precedence of the deceased. This can also help to bring back old memories. It is best to write everything in chronological order because this can really help to better organize your thinking process and therefore the speech delivery will be more effective.

Always remember that every person wants to feel that they have made a meaningful contribution while they have been living. This is why we should attempt to point out all those things which the deceased has done to impact people’s lives and to contribute in their profession and in society. This is an excellent way to honor the memory of the deceased person.

Eulogy Writing Guide

Eulogies originated in ancient Greece and through the millennia this practice has remained popular. It should be noted, however, that it is not supported by all religions and cultures.

Basically, a eulogy is simply a way of saying goodbye to a person who has passed away. It provides a person with an opportunity to express feelings, thoughts and experiences that will show respect and honor to the deceased person.

There is no rigid blueprint when it comes to the writing of eulogies. With every new event, one has to look at the different circumstances and also the person for whom that eulogy is intended.

In some cases, it might be necessary to present a formal speech that will touch on the history, achievements and professional career of the person who is passed away.

Alternatively, one can use a more personal approach where interesting stories and touching memories are shared. It should be noted that either of the two can be used but it might also be possible to use a combination of these two approaches depending on the situation as it is unveiled.

For some people, the writing of a eulogy can seem like a daunting task but many who has come through that process has found that it actually helps with the healing process.

Eulogy Etiquette Guide

Many people have completed excellent eulogies by simply communicating memories and ideas from their hearts and they have continued to express all those things which has been meaningful to them personally.

Success is also more easily achievable when you request the inputs from many different people. These people might remember things which you might have forgotten or might not have been personally involved in.

Keep your eyes open as you walk through the residence of the deceased and pay particular attention to photographs and other things of interest that can provide interesting material which can be used in the eulogy.

In many cases, the gardens of deceased persons can also be a treasure house of information which can provide valuable source material which can be used when writing the eulogy. Never make the mistake of disregarding the value of other relatives and friends who might have had interesting experiences with the deceased.

As far as eulogy etiquette is concerned it is not all that different from good old fashion morals and good manners and behaving properly. It should be noted that funerals have their own particular set of etiquette rules. There are many things that might be acceptable in normal life which can be considered as inappropriate when it comes to funerals.

One way to show respect for the deceased and their loved ones is to turn off all cell phones. Your business is never more important than what is taking place at that funerals service.

When someone passes away it is important to carefully consider whether you should attend or not. If there were known issues between you and the deceased, then you may offend family members and friends when you attend that funeral. Furthermore, being punctual is important because it shows respect for the deceased.

Lastly, the emotions of attendees should be kept in check so that it never diverts attention from the family of the deceased.

Eulogy Speech Delivery Guide and Examples

Keep Time: While writing that eulogy it is important to aim for something which will consume between three and five minutes but never more than ten because then you start to stretch the attention span of people attending.

Chronological Order of Events/Memories: Start with the basics such as biographical information relating to the deceased such as dates and places. Most of this information can be obtained from family and friends. It is important to write everything down in chronological order and it is important to focus on memories that are able to reveal the character of the person who has passed away.

Meaningful Ending: It is always a good thing when the eulogy is concluded to let people know what the deceased has personally meant to you and your family.

One example of how you can end your eulogy speech is to say that…

‘you are gathered together to celebrate the life of John Watson. You can also introduce himself by saying that you are Peter Smith and that you are the cousin of John Watson who was known by everyone as Johnny. You can then say that John was a truly incredible person who was well-loved by friends, family, and associates. He was a solid and a very good friend and also a hard worker who has contributed extensively in his professional endeavors. You can then elaborate on some of the specific things for which this person was so much appreciated.’

eulogy examples

Example of a Eulogy for a father

When the deceased person is the father of the person presenting the eulogy then it may be meaningful to mention all of the advice which has been provided by that father to his children.

This might include advice regarding parenthood or dealing with the challenges experienced in life. It can also be advice on how to keep a marriage happy or on how to provide better for the family.

Share a little about who exactly that father was and how little he expected from those around him while he gave so much in return.

The speaker can also say that although live has been busy and pressurized the critical bond between father and son has always been healthy and strong. Also share some of the personal traits of the deceased person such as their ability to listen and their patience. 

Example of a Eulogy for a friend

Likewise, when that eulogy concerns a friend examples relating to the relationship between those friends have to be shared in order to illustrate how that friend has distinguished himself and how he has made himself meaningful and special to everyone with whom he has come into contact.

Under certain circumstances, it may be acceptable to use humor in that eulogy as long as it is ensured that no offense is given to anyone present. The use of such humor must always remind those in attendance of how special the person has been and why they will continue to b remembered so fondly by everyone remaining behind.

Example of a Eulogy for a Mother

There can be no doubt that when your family has to say goodbye to a mother who has passed away, then this can be one of the most difficult things for any family to do.

The writing of a eulogy for a mother is something which can come easier and more naturally to most people because there is so much personal information to share and therefore the writing of that eulogy can flow more naturally, is often longer and also completed quicker.

For most people, there is a lot that can be said such as how vibrant and loving the mother was. A person can share how easily she connected to people and how she had the ability to put people at ease.

That eulogy can also share how that mother dealt with the challenges of old age in a courageous and very brave manner. There were countless times when she was available to assist the children with all of the many challenges which they were facing as they go through life. Even when those situations seemed impossible she always had a word of wisdom which was able to give the person a fresh perspective relating to that problem.

One can also share how the mother divided her attention equally between the many children and a husband ensuring that no one is ever neglected. Despite her own difficulties and numerous challenges, she never turned anyone away. She never complained even when she had to do things that were difficult and challenging.

She always had a kind word for new acquaintances even those which were complete strangers. She was always ready to receive those strangers and to provide them with a high standard of hospitality and friendship.

Example of a Eulogy for a GrandMother

Grandmothers are also ranking very high on the list of people who have to be greeted for the very last time. These wonderful old ladies have been placed in our lives in order to help us to better understand our place in the universe.

Very often, they established themselves as one of the most vital parts in that personal and individual universe. There is so much which can be said about a beloved grandmother.

One can comment about the wisdom of that grandmother and some of the advice which she has dispensed. One can also share how that advice has been implemented and how it has simplified life for the one to whom it was given.

A Grandmother might not always be right but everything she has done was always done for the right reasons desiring only the very best outcome for everyone who approaches her for advice.

Grandmothers are often very closely involved in the lives of those around them and therefore there is endless pieces of information which can be shared in that eulogy.

Conclusion

Parting with a loved one is never easy. Knowing that the person is gone forever can be very traumatic especially in the case of a close family member or close friend.

The eulogy is going to be one of the last meaningful thing you will ever be able to do for your departed loved one and this is why every effort has to be made to make it super special. Just remember to keep it real and totally natural and ensure that everything in that eulogy is always focusing on the deceased and no one else.

Even when you share memories of how the deceased has interacted with others you must ensure that the deceased always have the limelight and no one else.

If you had tried your best and the eulogy still does not seem worthy of your loved one, then it is probably best to seek professional help from someone such as your minister.

However, there is also a lot of advice available online and you can even make use of freelance eulogy writers who can provide you with a professionally written eulogy for a relatively small fee. Browse some of these sites for excellent advice on all things relating to eulogies. 

READ MORE ABOUT TYPES OF SPEECH

The complete Types of Speech Series – Please find some insight for each type of speech by clicking the links below

Part I. 8 Persuasive Speech Techniques & Topics

Part II. 9 Tips for Writing and Amazing Informative Speech and 120+ Topic Ideas

Part III. 5 Quick Tips on how to Give an Effective Motivational Speech

Part IV. 15 Demonstration Speech Ideas and Techniques

Part V. How to Give an Effective Special Occasion Speech?

Part VI. 6 Key Tips for a Memorable Entertaining Speech + Topics and Ideas

Part VII. Explanatory Speech: 7 Key Tips to Help You Deliver an Effective Speech

Part VIII. 5-Step Strategy for an Effective Debate and Speech Delivery

Part IX. 7 Oratory Secrets: How to Deliver Effective Oratorical Speeches

Part X. Public Speaking Contests: 7 Ways to Nail at Forensic Speech Competitions

Part XI. 80+ Impromptu Speech Topics & 7 Ways to Nail One

Part XII. 13 Ways to Effectively Deliver Pitching Presentations

Part XIII. Farewell Speech – An 8-step guide to help you deliver a Memorable one

Part XIV. Eulogy Guide: How to Give a Heartfelt Funeral Speech (with 4 Eulogy examples)

REFERENCES & FURTHER READING

https://www.write-out-loud.com/free-sample-eulogies.html

https://www.burialplanning.com/resources/funeral-etiquette-guide/how-to-write-a-eulogy-speech/

WhiteladyFunerals. How to write a eulogy

https://www.whiteladyfunerals.com.au/funeral-help-advice/how-to-write-a-eulogy/

 30+ Best Eulogy Examples  https://www.loveliveson.com/eulogy-examples/

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Emidio Amadebai

An avid seeker of knowledge, and passionate about sharing the lessons he picks up in life. Emidio is passionate about public speaking, teaching, and helping others develop critical soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and other interpersonal skills which are in high demand in today's rapidly evolving market.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Doreen Pendgracs

    Excellent post. I have delivered several eulogies & it is never easy. Here’s my tip: if you have to deliver a eulogy for someone with whom you were very closely attached, I recommend having a grinner in the audience. Have that person give you a big grin if they see you breaking down. That way, you can look at them get relief from the grin, and continue on.

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