How Do You Start a Eulogy

person reading a bookIf you were tasked to give a eulogy during the memorial or funeral services, you are given this honor because you have a close relationship with the deceased. A eulogy is a speech that you say about your beloved who passed away. A few people find this painful to do, especially if it is a sudden death or the one who died is still too young. When a direct family member finds it difficult to control their emotions, you may be tasked to deliver a eulogy on their behalf.

Why Do a Eulogy?

This speech is one of the most crucial parts of the service since you will be saying some words in honor of the deceased’s life. Some of the attendees may not know the deceased well because they are there to support grieving family members. Others may have only known the one who passed away for a brief period of time.

This speech is the perfect opportunity to share insights on how the deceased was like. Typically several people are tasked with this role, so all the attendees will truly get a glimpse of the person’s character.

Through a eulogy, you’ll realize that someone who has passed on has many different facets. You’ll get to know the person even more through the lens of the one making the eulogy. Because of this, hearing these affirming words will help those who are mourning to process their grief.

How to Structure the Speech?

It is normal to feel nervous when you are delegated with this huge responsibility. You may have no clue how to write a eulogy. Don’t worry because these are all normal feelings. While there is no formal and mandatory structure for your eulogy, keeping specific guidelines in mind will help you start your speech. Knowing these tips will help you draft your content.

The primary key to giving a touching eulogy is to make it personal. To make things easy for you, pretend you are writing a letter. If you need a burst of inspiration, looking through old photos, re-reading past letters, or watching videos may help you. When you do this, you may get a spark in your memories of an inspiring event centering on the deceased that you may want to share about.

If you need help organizing your thoughts, keep your anecdotes and personal tidbits in chronological order. Writing it in this manner will help the attendees follow the flow of your speech. You want them to understand because you are speaking about your dearly departed’s legacy on earth. This is your last chance to honor this person while providing comfort to everyone grieving.

What Flow to Follow?

If you still feel stumped about what flow to follow, you can follow this outline to help you complete your task:

  • Opening statement: You must start with an introduction of yourself and how you are related to the deceased. If you are a family member or a close friend tasked by the immediate family to give the speech, you must thank everyone for coming, especially those who traversed many miles to be there. Express how you are all condoling together.
  • Focusing on details: This is the main point of your eulogy as you talk about what makes the deceased special. You can mention unique hobbies, community affiliations, and exemplary achievements. Give the best examples so you can paint a vivid picture of the deceased’s life. You must also include personal anecdotes of how this person influenced your life.
  • Closing statements: Close with a statement offering words of comfort for everyone. You can end it with an inspiring quote or bible passage. Others who are musically gifted sing a song or play a musical instrument using the deceased’s favorite song. If the one being laid to rest loves literature, you can also read a novel excerpt or a poem. Since you know the deceased, you are in the best position to judge which method is the most appropriate.

Final Word

Do keep in mind that a eulogy is entirely different from an obituary. The latter is a simple death notice that appears online or on community newspapers. Though both are based on factual information, a eulogy gives you a better chance to expound on the life and personality traits of the deceased.

If you are feeling awkward before your speech, take a deep calming breath. This is your final farewell to your dearly departed loved one, so you must strive hard to do a great job. Resist the urge to speak fast just to get things over with. Instead, calmly read your speech so everyone can hear your final tribute.