When it comes to funeral services, delivering a strong and powerful eulogy can make or break the event. A eulogy should tie everything together and help people to bond. A eulogy should make people laugh and cry, remember the life that was and help them to come together. Unfortunately, writing the perfect eulogy is a tall order. Here are five top tips for writing a heartbreaking and memorable eulogy.
#1. Use A Video
A very powerful technique for delivering a eulogy is to incorporate a video. Most notably, Brooke Shields did this for her friend Michael Jackson to capture the loss of a passing musical genius. Shields said ‘smile though your heart is aching’ and used a video to delve into Jackson’s life. If you are tasked with delivering a eulogy, you can use a video to make your speech shine. Choose a home video or a section of film you know the person loved. Explain to the audience what it meant to them and recall a moment when you watched it together and how it felt. Ending a eulogy with a short video, even a music video or a slideshow set to music, is a great way to deliver a heart melting speech.
#2. Use Satire
A eulogy doesn’t have to be grand, wise or epic in scale. Using satire is one of the best ways to create a truly unique eulogy for a person at their funeral. Choose a funny moment you remember from their life and try to satirize it. You might like to do an impression or recall an event or action that you found amusing. It may be funny to parody how the person answered the phone, left a message or something funny that they wrote on greetings cards they sent out. A good laugh and a good story is one of the best formulas for a winning eulogy.
#3. It’s The Small Things You Remember
In the end, it’s the small things you remember about a person’s life. Perhaps the way they smiled, the things they said or their actions. A great technique for throwing the audience off guard is to mention negative things. It’s the last thing that people will be expecting and may at first seem cruel or unkind. In fact, you can recount things that the person said or did that annoyed you but then explain that you miss these things and would do anything to have them back. This approach is known as ‘beautiful imperfection’ where you draw on character traits or actions to show how much someone meant to you during their life.
#4. Use The Stream Of Consciousness
Stream of consciousness is a literary device you can use to take the audience back to the defining moments in the life of the deceased. Mona Simpson used this technique to deliver a eulogy for her brother Steve Jobs in 2009. You can use it to make your eulogy stand out. Collect together salient memories you have of the life of the deceased and use them to weave a story and share special insights with the audience. During your eulogy, the audience will learn new things about the person they knew and will deeply appreciate being able to share in the special times that you enjoyed with the deceased.
#5. Draw Parallels Between Your Lives
The final tip for writing an amazing eulogy is to draw parallels between your life and that of the deceased. Did you both attend the same church? Grow up together at school? Dream the same dreams? Share these facts with the audience to find a way to capture the essence of the person and their life story at the same time. Audiences love this type of eulogy.
Now that you’ve read our top tips for writing an amazing eulogy, you should at least have one idea for starting to write your own. Writing a great eulogy helps your family capture the life story of the person who passed away. A eulogy can unite an audience, help them to move on and help unify the entire funeral. Whether you are preparing for a funeral or a cremation in New Haven CT, these five eulogy writing tips are sure to stand you in good stead. Good luck!