A funeral is a time when we mourn the loss of our loved ones and remember all the great things they did in life. We are united with mutual friends and family in our sadness and this is a great way to get closure after a long illness or a sudden loss.
At the same time it also a chance to honour that person and to give them the send-off they deserve, which is why you may wish to give a speech. This is a scary and difficult thing to do of course though, so if you’re planning on talking at a funeral you may be looking for some advice to help you through.
Should You Make a Speech?
The first question to answer with regards to your speech is whether or not it’s a good idea to go ahead with one. This is something that many people will find scary and difficult, and particularly if you were very close to your loved one and if you struggle to talk about them yet.
The answer to this question is that it is really all down to you and whether you feel it’s the right thing to do and something you can do. If you are so stressed about the speech that it takes over the whole funeral for you, then you should definitely reconsider going ahead with it. Some people can end up feeling pressured to make a speech as though they aren’t showing their missing loved one respect if they don’t go ahead – but that’s not something you should let make your mind up for you. Ultimately the funeral is for you as well to help you come to terms with your loss, if you’re too stressed to focus on what matters then you should honor them in your own way.
On the other hand if you feel able to give the speech and feel it would help others, or even help you as a form of catharsis then you should go ahead.
Writing the Speech
Now it’s time to compose your speech there are a couple of things to keep in mind. One is that it doesn’t just have to be mournful – talking about the fun side of your loved one can help to turn the occasion into more of a celebration of their life rather than making it purely painful. That said you should also make sure that it comes straight from the heart, and that you make your speech as accessible as it can be. Include the attendees in your speech and acknowledge how important the person was to all of them as well if you can. Keeping it brief is usually advisable.
Lastly you need to think about delivery. The key here is not to stress too much and to remember that you’re doing a brave thing that people will already admire you for and be grateful for. It doesn’t matter if everything goes smoothly or not, and if you cry or stutter it will only humanise you. Speak slowly and from the heart and remember that you’re all in this together.