Writing a Eulogy for a Loved One
I recently wrote a eulogy when my mother died. Although I initially had no idea where to begin, I realized after some thought that the best thing to do was to speak from my heart. Eulogies are about the memories of that person and your shared personal experiences. It is an opportunity to reminisce and say why this special person was well-loved and why they will be missed by you as well as others.
A eulogy can be serious but including some humorous anecdotes about your loved one will lighten an otherwise solemn occasion. It is okay if those gathered smile, or if they cry and it’s natural if you shed a few tears too. No one will hold it against you.
The following are some ideas to help you write a eulogy for your loved one:
– develop a theme, perhaps talk about one aspect of your loved one’s life, i.e.: the good times you shared;
– mention a particular situation;
– mention something that he or she was passionate about;
– try to make it inspiring, praise him/her;
– include quotes and memories from his/her closest friends and relatives;
– mention memorable events and share a story about fun times together;
– say why you will miss him/her and what you will never forget;
– suitable quotations, poems or bible readings can be included;
– mention how he/she affected others;
– talk about his/her interests and achievements;
– write your eulogy in chronological order.
Paint a picture of words of your loved one so that those present will feel his or her presence. At the reception following my mother’s service a friend of mine said she could almost feel my mother’s presence. I told her she probably was there and reminded her that even at ninety my mother hated to miss a party.
At the end of your eulogy try to end it with something thoughtful and heartfelt. I ended my eulogy with, ‘Thank you to all of you who had been her friend. She was my mother but she had also been my friend and I will miss her too.’ A friend added at the end of her eulogy, ‘An old Indian legend says that ‘no one ever dies as long as one person is left to speak his/her name.’ You will continue to live through your family and friends.’
And a quote from Dr. Seuss, ‘Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.’