Delivering a eulogy for a friend or family member is a wonderful way to participate in the funeral service. It is an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of the life lived, and to remind friends and family of the memories and legacy left behind
Rather than starting at the beginning and just letting the words flow we always recommend having a structure to work to and then filling in the detail after you’ve done your research and chosen your ‘key words’.
Talk to at least 2 or 3 close family members and/or friends. Detail the spouse(s), children, grandchildren even pets. Trace the person’s life through school, tertiary education, to the workplace and career(s). Note any sports, hobbies, community groups or particular passions. Where had the person lived/travelled? Are their any special achievements/accomplishments?
- Introduction – personal reminiscence
- Person’s early life and education
- The career (workmate anecdote?)
- The hobbies and interests
- The ‘family’ person
- The qualities, achievement and legacy
- Closing (fitting quote?)
Most importantly write as you would speak, remember this is a conversation with those attending about a person with whom you have things and feelings in common – it isn’t a ‘reading’. Ideal word count is somewhere between 500 and 900 words for about 5 minutes worth of delivery. Last but not least rehearse and read it out loud so that you can ‘feel the rhythm’, time yourself and then go back and work on the words that felt clumsy.