Writing a Meaningful Eulogy

Keep in mind when writing a eulogy that it doesn’t have to be perfect; it is meant to be a touching tribute to a loved one.

Writing a Eulogy

It’s an honor and privilege if you are asked to give the eulogy at a family member’s or friend’s funeral or memorial service. Most often, it’s because of a personal relationship a person had with the deceased as to why families choose specific individuals to deliver the eulogy. As our Funeral Directors at Roper & Sons in Lincoln, Nebraska, assist families in making funeral or memorial arrangements, the eulogy can be one part of the service that is often determined after the request has been made even if the funeral plans were made in advance.

A eulogy offers attendees the opportunity to reflect upon the person’s character, their accomplishments, and special memories that were created throughout their life. Depending upon the type of service, the personality of the loved one, and wishes made by the family, this will determine the style and tone of your eulogy, whether it’s lively and uplifting or more quiet and serious.

What information is included?

Start by writing down thoughts and feelings from the relationship you had with your loved one. Include pertinent information such as:

  • Family (parents, siblings, spouse, children, grandchildren)
  • Career and achievements
  • Things they enjoyed doing
  • Organizations they were passionate about
  • Characteristics that endured them to others
  • Funny stories about them

Be mindful of sharing anything too personal that may unintentionally make family or friends feel uncomfortable. Once you have an outline of what you want to say, then start formulating it in a way that will resonate with everyone in attendance.

How long should it be?

Keeping your eulogy from five to ten minutes is a good length of time to speak, but there are several factors that will determine an appropriate length. Be sure to ask if there are other family members or friends speaking so that you can adjust the length accordingly. Sometimes a sole eulogy can be given by one person and will represent a comprehensive life sketch for those in attendance. Many times several individuals will be asked to speak. If this is the case, a concise and heartfelt speech is best, both for the speaker and the listeners.

Regardless of the length, when presenting the eulogy, be familiar with the content so that you can speak from the heart rather than read the entire eulogy, if possible.

How do you end a eulogy?

Your final words in a eulogy should be comforting and meaningful to those in attendance. You are saying goodbye to someone who meant a great deal to everyone there, someone who impacted their lives. This may be the most difficult part of the eulogy as you may experience varying degrees of emotion yourself including crying and struggling to speak. Do your best to remind everyone why your loved one will be missed and to keep their memory alive. Close by saying your personal goodbye.

Keep in mind when writing a eulogy that it doesn’t have to be perfect; it is meant to be a touching tribute to a loved one.

If you are planning a funeral service at Roper & Sons in Lincoln, Nebraska, our Funeral Directors are ready to assist you in any way we can.

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All too often, we struggle with what to say when comforting a grieving friend. What is enough? What is too much? What seems contrite? The compassionate part of us wants to say something comforting, to support our friend, to show we care.