How to Write a Eulogy for a Loved One

Danielle Houghton

Community Writer

Being asked to give a eulogy is a sign of how important you have been to the one who has passed away. Presenting a funeral speech for a loved one is considered honourable and, it is natural to feel a great sense of responsibility alongside honour.

You may find it a daunting task to write a eulogy as you may find it impossible to compile a thousand memories and things you may want to mention in the memory of your loved one.

If you are looking for help to write a eulogy for a loved one, we are deeply sorry for your loss. In this article, we have briefed a step by step guide to help you write a memorable eulogy that would bring the memory of your loved one back to life.

Yet, it is essential to remember that a eulogy is also about what truly comes from your heart.

What is a Eulogy?

A eulogy means a short funeral speech given at a funeral or a memorial service by someone close to the one who has passed away. It is a way of bidding a memorable farewell to the deceased as a tribute by a family member, a relative or a close friend.

Usually, this funeral speech reflects on the unique qualities, unforgettable experiences, achievements and wonderful, silly little memories you have shared with them.

Each eulogy is unique. Some light-hearted funeral speeches may bring the audience to burst into laughter listening to the hilarious life stories of your loved one. Some funeral speeches may break them into tears remembering all the things they will be missing with their great loss.

In other words, a eulogy is a reflection of the simple yet most precious traits of your loved one and the relationship you had with them.

How Long Should a Eulogy Be?

Usually, a good eulogy can be between 3-5 minutes long but can be as long as 10 – 15 minutes. The content of the speech doesn’t have to be a long biography but only a true feeling put into words. Long speeches have the risk of losing the attention of the audience.

How to Write a Good Eulogy?

Keep in mind that it is your speech about your loved one for the attendees of the funeral.

1. Where to start?

  • Focus on everything that your loved one had meant to you and how they impacted your life.
  • List down what was so special about them, what they have loved, what their interests were and what they have disliked in their life.
  • Draw on special memories and achievements of their life. This could be about having their first baby born or winning a trophy or travelling to their dream destination, etc.
  • Ask the family and friends about the unforgettable experiences they have shared with your loved one.

2. Think About Your Audience

  • Observe who will be attending the funeral before selecting what to include and avoid in your eulogy.
  • Think about how they would feel while listening to your speech. A eulogy doesn’t necessarily have to be depressing or mournful. The audience and the closest persons will feel grateful toward you if your words could uplift their spirit and provide comfort to bear their loss.
  • Don’t include anything that may shock, offend or confuse the audience. Consider what they would want to hear.
  • You don’t have to lie in your eulogy or make a saint of your loved one in your speech. What would truly honour the deceased is remembering who they really were. Just be honest, but selective.

What Are the Three Parts of a Eulogy?

Mentioned below is what you should include in each part of your eulogy.

1. The Beginning

  • Decide on the tone. It could be informal or formal in relevance to your relationship with the deceased and the nature of the audience.
  • The name of your loved one, their maiden names.
  • The cause of death but, this is not compulsory.
  • How you are related to the deceased.

2. Middle Section

  • Choose a theme to talk about. Your speech can be light-hearted, formal, sentimental, biographical or a collective of all above. Considering the audience and the relationship you had maintained with the deceased, you can decide on the tone to set the mood for your speech.
  • You can include their accomplishments, life stories or any other details you wish to remember as a tribute to the deceased.
  • Don’t stress on one point as it will discomfort the audience. Try to talk about several things, covering the scope of who your loved one used to be.

3. Ending

  • A quick wrap up. You can conclude your speech by mentioning how your loved one would want the audience to feel or how you will be treasuring the memory of your loved one for a lifetime.
  • You can quote a phrase or a poem significantly loved by your loved one that would soothe the audience.
  • Thank the audience with all your heart for attending the funeral

How to Deliver a Eulogy?

  • Speak slowly so that the audience can understand what you are saying.
  • Take pauses and allow the audience to contemplate or laugh if there is humour in it.
  • Make eye contact while mentioning specific facts so that they feel important and connected to your speech.
  • Try to stand still and not fidget as it will distract the audience.

There are no rules as to what you should mention in a eulogy or any perfect eulogy example to define a good funeral speech. The challenge is to make your funeral speech meaningful with each word you choose whilst coping with your emotional feelings and providing comfort to the audience.

There are many eulogy examples to help write a eulogy for a mother, a father, a grandparent, children, the spouse, a sibling, or a friend, yet you should simply speak your heart out.

This genuine expression will be your first step in recovering from your loss as well. You will find that you could still keep learning about someone after they were gone, and that these simple but precious details will help keep their memories alive more than ever.