Before discussing the process of creating a sincere and cordial eulogy for a person who has recently passed away, let’s all remember what this particular type of speech should imply. Eulogies are discourses conducted during the funeral procession of the deceased that underline the speaker’s relationship to the person and, at the same time, provide the friends and family members present with a touching glimpse of the past.
Furthermore, the eulogy should constitute a tribute to the personal qualities and achievements of the departed, evidently without making a mountain out of a molehill. After all, the funeral attendees comprise mainly of people who have known the deceased. Without further ado, let’s elaborate on the five critical features of a sincere, heartfelt and moving eulogy.
1. Originality instead of reproduced content
Unless you are a highly trained writer and/or orator, the task of compiling and delivering the eulogy is not going feel easy. You might even consider it would be better to find and adapt an eulogy written for someone else, since after all, the internet constitutes a great resource in this sense. However, the problem with this approach is that your discourse will not sound genuine and heartfelt no matter how much you try to polish it. Your personal insight, although lacking in big words and dazzling figures of speech, will be a thousand times more comforting for the grieving family.
2. A consistent theme for the discourse
In order to simplify the process of writing the eulogy, you should pick a single theme for the discourse and stick to it. For example, talk about the deceased’s dedication to his family or his career, elaborating on your points with suitable examples. Alternatively, you could bring tribute to the activities that he enjoyed during his life or the stories he used to share with everyone. Remember, a consistent theme always ties the whole speech together.
3. Negativity has no part in a eulogy
It should go without saying, but the negative aspects of the departed’s life are best left out of an eulogy speech. Evidently, the same rule of thumb applies to present friends and family members. The funeral is not a place to point fingers, criticize or bash someone’s image. You have all gathered there to mourn the passing of a person who has been very close to you and be with him one last time. In addition, keep in mind that all the people attending the funeral are perfectly aware of the fact that the deceased was human and, as of such, he had flaws and made mistakes. It’s just not the right moment to bring them up.
4. Short speeches are always preferable
When it comes to creating and delivering a eulogy for a person with whom you shared a lot of memories, you may find it difficult to choose between what you should include and what you should leave out of the discourse. However, the importance of keeping the speech short cannot be stressed enough. Therefore, remember about the theme you’ve selected earlier and try to trim down the manuscript, starting with the elements that don’t fit in the category. After all, there are others who will surely want to deliver their own eulogy and we should not prolong the pain of the grieving family anymore than you have to.
On a side note, it’s advisable to practice delivering the eulogy before the funeral in order to determine exactly how much time it takes you to complete your speech.
5. Re-reading the text after completion and editing as necessary
The final step of the process should always be the editing of the text. Once you are overall satisfied with the eulogy and you think there is nothing more you can add, it is time to go through it carefully and see if you cannot improve it any further or correct phrases that seem out of place. However, don’t forget that you’re not striving for perfection, but rather you’re trying to ensure that the speech you’re about to deliver does justice to the departed and your relationship with him.
The eulogy for a close friend or family member is perhaps one of the most difficult discourses you’ll ever have to complete and chances are you will become emotional in the process or writing or delivering it. Don’t fret, it’s all of part of the natural cycle of grieving and the most important thing to remember is to speak from the heart.