How to Write a Eulogy

How to Write a Eulogy

If you have been asked to write a eulogy, you may be experiencing a wide range of emotions. Public speaking is an uncomfortable situation for many people, and when you are trying to deal with the loss of a loved one, it becomes even more stressful. However, there are some things to consider that can help you better deal with the stress of writing a eulogy.

Why Me? This is the first question that pops into the head of anyone who is asked to write a eulogy. This can be a disconcerting feeling, especially if you are not used to expressing your emotions to others. Just remember, you were not asked to write this out of spite. Writing a eulogy is an honour that is reserved for those who had a close personal bond with the deceased. You were chosen for this honour because your family and friends are confident in your ability to pay tribute to your loved one’s memory. It is important to understand that your eulogy is a means of helping others deal with their loss, and say goodbye to their loved ones. There is no right or wrong way to write a eulogy – the words simply need to come from the heart.

Tell Your Story

Many people immediately respond to eulogy requests by saying they cannot write. Honestly, it does not matter if this is true or not. While the eulogies portrayed in films often seem stilted and formal, a real eulogy is meant to be informal. This is a time for you to share your feelings and memories about your loved one, as well as their personality. You can include special song lyrics, favourite quotes, scriptures, or other expressions that the deceased person loved in an effort to give your listeners insight into his or her personality and lifestyle.

What Should I Write About? Many people over think the eulogy writing process, which leads to some panic when it comes time to sit down and write. The key here is to relax – no one expects you to be a prize-winning author. They simply want to hear about the life you shared with such a special person. Here are some questions that should help you get the writing process started:


  • How did you and the deceased meet?
  • Do you have an interesting story that you can share about your loved one?
  • What did you admire most about the deceased?
  • Is there an expression, movement, or quirk that you and others found humorous?
  • What activities did you and your loved one enjoy doing together?
  • Did the person travel?
  • Did he or she have any accomplishments or achievements?
  • Did he or she have any interesting hobbies or favourite pastimes?

All of these questions will help you come up with everything you need to write a eulogy. Your goal is to simply share special moments and fond memories of the deceased with others to help them say their goodbyes.

Getting Prepared

When you are ready to get started on the eulogy, you need to remember that you are paying tribute to a person who had considerable impact in your own, and others lives. Funerals are somber occasions for the most part, but they are also a time to celebrate your loved one’s life and experiences. If the deceased enjoyed humour, be sure to include that in your speech – there is no rule that people are not allowed to laugh. Additionally, this laughter will help them in the grieving process as they recall fond memories right along with you.

Do Some Research

You want to make sure that you capture the essence of the deceased, which means you will need to speak to others that had a relationship with him or her. The relationships of friends and family are very different, and lead to different experiences and impressions of the person. Take the time to reach out to close family members, friends, and co-workers of the deceased so that you can create an intimate and accurate tribute.


Delivering the eulogy is often the most daunting task for many people, especially those that are not accustomed to delivering speeches. However, when you are giving a eulogy, you need to remember that the audience is giving you their full support. They understand how difficult this situation is, and they understand that you will do the best that you can. No one is going to judge you if you become emotional, as everyone realizes that you are as deeply affected by the loss as they are.

Other Considerations There are a few things to consider when it is time for you to deliver the eulogy that will help you overcome your nerves:

  • Have a copy of your eulogy with you that is easy to read. While you may have it memorized, your nerves could make it difficult for you to remember every line, and you will also be able to keep your place during the speech.
  • Dress Comfortably – Funerals have come a long way, and the strict formal dress is no longer a requirement. Instead of a suit and tie, or a dress, consider a pair of slacks and a nice shirt. You are already going to be uncomfortable due to the situation, so you should try to wear clothing that is appropriate, yet comfortable.
  • Be Prepared – Ask if you may have a glass of water handy at the podium. This can help you deal with a dry mouth, and give you a moment to compose yourself if you get overwhelmed.
  • Have a Backup – There are times when emotions and nerves completely overwhelm the person chosen to deliver the eulogy. Have someone on standby that can take over for you if this happens.

If you are chosen to deliver a eulogy, just remember that this is an honour, not a punishment. Take pride in this, and understand that this speech is essentially your final gift to your loved one.
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