Giving a meaningful tribute to a loved one can be an overwhelming task, even to the most accomplished public speaker, but it does not need to be. Memorializing somebody’s life in a few short minutes may be a therapeutic tool to help deal with your grief, and being chosen to give a eulogy is an honor and should be treated that way. Here are some tips for writing and delivering an eloquent and memorable eulogy.
- Gather information. Talk with family members, close friends and co-workers to get important information on the deceased. Some important information to include in the eulogy is the person's family and other close relationships, their education/career, hobbies or special interests, places the person lived or traveled to and any special accomplishments they had.
- Organize your thoughts. Jot down your ideas by whatever means are most comfortable and familiar to you. Create an outline of your speech and fill in the information that you gathered about the person.
- Write it down. This is not a toast at a wedding where you can make off the cuff remarks, and you should not ad-lib a eulogy. Writing it all down allows you to include and remember every detail you wanted in your eulogy. When you bring a copy your eulogy to the podium make sure it is easy to read: print it out in a large font or, if it is hand-written, leave a few spaces between the lines. Keep in mind your time constraints; it’s best to keep things on the short side, especially if there are other speakers.
- Review and Revise. Your first draft will not be the last. When you think you are done, sleep on it and look it over in the morning when it is fresh again. That will be the best time to make any necessary revisions.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. Read over your eulogy several times in order to become familiar with it. Practice in front of a mirror, read it over to some friends or family and have them give you feedback. Become familiar with your speech so you can recite it without making it look like you’re reading from a script. The more you practice the more comfortable you will be.
- It is okay to make them laugh, but be respectful. A funeral is not a roast; however, there is room for humor in your eulogy. Fondly remember a story about the person that everyone can relate to. Keep it appropriate as there will be children and elderly people present who may not share the same sense of humor. Laughter is truly the best medicine and some well placed humor will help people cope, and will bring back fond memories of the deceased.
- Don’t be afraid to show emotion. Funerals are an extremely emotional event, nobody expects you not to shed a few tears. However, if you feel that you will be too strongly overcome by your emotions, have a back-up plan in place where someone you trust can deliver the eulogy for you. Give them a copy well in advance if you feel this could be an issue.
- Have a glass of water as well as tissues handy. Keeping your throat and lips moistened will help you speak easier. Don't be ashamed to use tissues to wipe away tears.
Writing an newspaper notice is a difficult and emotional task. Here at the Simcoe Funeral Home, our funeral directors have extensive experience in composing a notice and will assist you every step of the way. First, you will need to gather information from family members of the deceased starting with the immediate family, such as spouse, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Then parents, siblings and their families, and finally any special friends you may want to acknowledge. As you will see with most newspaper notice there is a typical structured format; it may be helpful to use this as a guideline to assist you.
Place & Date of death:
Family members, starting with the immediate, then moving to the extended family, if you wish:
Service Details (location, including full address, date and times):
Donations (charity selected and how donations can be made):
Website, if applicable:
Keep in mind that each newspapers sets their own rate and charges per line. However, this template is not written in stone. You can make any adjustments you feel necessary.