How to Give a Eulogy

eulogy_checklistMore families are opting to deliver their own memorial services, especially as the trend for direct cremation increases.  It can be a much more personal memorialization when the family and friends of the deceased prepare and deliver a eulogy at a funeral or memorial service.

The idea of a somber traditional funeral is slowly being replaced by something more celebratory, personalized and upbeat.  Today a Life Celebration is becoming a popular way of holding a funeral event.  This type of funeral ritual focuses more on celebrating the life of the deceased.

A eulogy should generally reflect on the life and personality of the person being memorialized.  Being given the task of writing and delivering a eulogy can be a daunting responsibility.  Choosing the right words, delivering it with the right amount of emotion, and being able to effectively reflect the personality of the person being eulogized are key to delivering a eulogy tribute.

What to do…

  • Position the eulogy by introducing yourself and your relationship with the deceased.
  • Try to keep the eulogy to a manageable time allowance (no more than 5 mins)
  • Include personal stories and anecdotes to re-live the memory of the person being eulogized.
  • Feel free to include a poem, song or artifact that memorializes the person.
  • When preparing a eulogy – you should consider how it fits into the whole service.  Is this to be a single eulogy? Are you combining stories from other family members or friends? Or will there be several eulogies from different people.

And what NOT to do!

  • Do not dwell on any negative aspects of the deceased or re-live ‘bad’ memories
  • Be honest without disclosing family secrets – do not use it as an opportunity to ‘get even’!
  • Whilst being honest, it would be diplomatic to avoid religious or political opinions.

How long should a eulogy be?

This can depend on the type of service and whether there is to be one or multiple eulogies delivered.  The general guideline seems to be between 3 and 5 minutes.  But this is all about personalization!

Can a person prepare their own eulogy?

Yes! There is no reason why a person cannot prepare their own eulogy.  In fact many people would prefer to be in control of how they are memorialized on their passing.   It has even been suggested that preparing your own eulogy can be a powerful tool for self-reflection.  It can be a great way to evaluate if you are ‘on track’ in terms of where your life is going and whether you are accomplishing the goals you aspire to.

MyOwnEulogy.com is a website that offers this unique service.  It enables you to create your own unique digital eulogy and then upload it to the site. You are in complete control as you can select the executors who will be notified of your passing and whether your digital content should be made public and remain private.

Check it out at MyOwnEulogy

My Own Eulogy

If you are tasked with preparing a eulogy you will find many resources online that can provide tips and inspirational quotes, poems and songs.  Preparation is probably key for constructing a tribute that is both dignified, reflective, emotional and yet celebratory.