What should you not put in a eulogy?
If you’ve been tasked to deliver a eulogy in the funeral services, you are most likely close to the one who passed away. As such, your goal is to deliver the best eulogy speech to pay tribute to your deceased loved one. It is perfectly normal to worry about how to write a eulogy because you don’t want to make mistakes. Since funerals are fraught with dark emotion, you don’t want your words to result in more sadness, hurt feelings, resentment, or even anger. As such, it is vital to do some careful preparation when you’re writing your eulogy.
Since you will be addressing a grieving crowd, the task may feel burdensome and stressful. After all, how do you encapsulate a person’s entire life in just 5 to 10 minutes? What makes this task more difficult is you have to do this when you are also grieving. If you feel lost about what to do, fret not. Just remember that writing a eulogy involves putting the best things about the deceased, which means sticking to positive topics. To help you out, consider the following reminders about things that you should avoid when penning your thoughts to paper:
Do Not Include Embarrassing Details
The purpose of a eulogy is to pay respects by memorializing the dead. Hence, it would not be prudent to include any embarrassing details that may disrespect the deceased. Save the sensitive stuff for your own memory bank. It may seem humorous to you, but it may not be funny for the ones hearing it. Putting on a filter assures you don’t offend the funeral attendees. Your intentions may be well-meaning, but a joke will always be in bad taste, especially if you make it during trying times.
Keep Private Details Confidential
Be considerate and don’t reveal any private info that your deceased loved one would not want to divulge. When you are writing the eulogy, it would be best to imagine that the person is right in front of you. Ask yourself if the deceased would like to hear these kinds of words? If it is something you feel awkward saying to a person’s face, it would be best to leave it out of your eulogy. When it comes to this speech, you have to think about the deceased, as well as the audience. You must be considerate of their thoughts and feelings, too.
No Need To Provide Specific Details Regarding Cause of Death
When you are penning your thoughts to paper, it would be okay to touch briefly on the cause of death. However, there is no need to get into the details, especially if the cause is a violent death or an unusual accident. Saying things out loud may only be more painful for the ones left behind. Instead of focusing on these negative information, gear your speech towards more happy topics. Talk about the dead’s accomplishments, community service efforts, and other uplifting traits that will make the audience smile. A funeral service already feels very heavy, so it would be best to restrain yourself. As the speaker, you hold the power to steer things in a positive light.
Stay Away From Past Grudges, Hurts, and Resentments
As the saying goes, if you have nothing nice to say, it is best not to say anything at all. Keep your mouth shut, instead. Speaking ill of the deceased is a big fat no! A eulogy is not the time for settling scores. It would be in bad taste to bring up past hurts, grudges, and resentments, especially since the deceased is no longer around to defend his or her side of the story. You’ll wreak havoc in the service proceedings because everyone in the room will certainly find your words offensive. Besides, no one is in this world is perfect, and everyone has a shortcoming. Your eulogy is not the time to bring these details up. Think about your actions and ask yourself if you would be proud of this speech years later. Don’t do anything you will regret!
Avoid Overly Emotional Baggage
One of the things you need to avoid when writing your eulogy is tackling topics that deal with too much emotional baggage. When you touch on these topics, you may cloud your judgment. Uncontrollable emotions will adversely affect you and can lead you to utter something you may regret. The loss of a person is already a sensitive period. Hence, it would be best to veer away from topics that make things even more difficult. Everyone in the service is most likely having a hard time processing through their grief. Do your part by not adding fuel to the flames, so to speak.
Refrain From Minimizing the Loss
Finally, trivializing the loss with generic words like “you’re lucky he’s in a better place” or “at least, she’s not suffering anymore” is never a good idea. Remember, the grief process is a private and personal matter. It varies from person to person. Now is not the time to offer advice on how they can get over their sadness quickly. Instead, commiserate, understand, comfort, and offer support. Don’t gloss over their hurt feelings and acknowledge that it is normal to feel pain. Convey your compassion and concern with something like “I miss her too” or “I also feel terrible.” This will validate their feelings. After all, everyone who losses a loved one must take their time to mourn and heal.