For many families, a eulogy is the centerpiece of final services. It is a spoken tribute of the departed, meant to invoke fond memories, perhaps some tears, and even a few laughs. Those who are asked to a deliver a eulogy should be honored by the request. By following a few guidelines, a quality, engaging eulogy can be written and delivered. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind.
Decide on the tone of your eulogy. The first step in creating a eulogy is determining the tone you want it to have. Most eulogies strike a balance between heartfelt memories and humor. The type of eulogy you deliver may depend on the circumstances surrounding a death as well as the personality of the loved one being eulogized.
Take time to gather memories. One of the most important aspects of a eulogy is gathering memories of the loved one. These memories should not be limited to your own. Talk with family, friends and people they have worked with. Review photos to help spur your memory. Select stories that will bring a smile to your audience or that demonstrate the good qualities of their personality.
Build an outline. Creating an outline can be valuable in keeping your eulogy on track. Many eulogies are built in chronological order, touching on the major events of the person’s life. These may include childhood, education, marriage and career. You may also want to include stories about their favorite sports teams, hobbies or charitable works. An outline is a good way to help you decide what is and isn’t valuable to include.
Keep focused. Your eulogy should be generally focused into a beginning, middle and end. Many will start with a brief introduction of who they are and their relationship to the deceased. Don’t get lost in minor details and be sure to include the names of close family and friends of those who have shared memories with you.
Practice out loud. Once you have your eulogy written, be sure to practice it out loud and in front of others to get their feedback. This practice will help you get comfortable with your copy and help you ultimately deliver it in a more genuine way.
Delivering the eulogy. If you have practiced your eulogy frequently enough you may be able to deliver it from memory or through notes on 3” x 5” cards. If you are concerned you’ll forget something, don’t be afraid to use your entire script. Keep in mind your audience is more interested in what you have to say, not whether or not you are reading it. Make eye contact with individuals in your audience and share a smile when talking about a fond memory. Speak clearly and deliberately.
It is normal to have some apprehension and nervousness when delivering a eulogy. Just remember it is a privilege and something you will treasure in the years to come.
At Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory, we have been serving families in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area and Northern Kentucky area for generations. We can help you plan for services that will fit the personality of your loved one. We will also be proud to assist you in pre-planning your own final services to make sure your wishes are carried out. We will even come to your home if requested. If you have questions or concerns about planning final services, contact us at Fares J. Radel.