Even people who are used to speaking in public can be nervous about giving a eulogy (sometimes called an address or a tribute) — it’s an important responsibility at a difficult time. But don’t worry: the people listening will be glad to hear you, they’ll understand your emotions, and they don’t expect a polished, professional performance. A eulogy helps family and friends to remember the person who has died. There isn’t a rulebook for writing one but here are some tips and reassurance.
Talk to people who knew the person
Ask them to share their memories and stories. Think about your own memories. What words, actions, moments and events describe the person and why they’re important to you?
Bring together everyone’s memories
Are there themes that come up over and over?
Maybe they loved to sing, even in the strangest places?
Or put family first, no matter what?
Who are you talking to?
They want to hear the truth, but not to be shocked, embarrassed or depressed. Your eulogy should reassure them that their loved one’s memory is cherished.
Who are you talking about?
Give the important facts: where they were born and when, and the main events in their life. You can talk about things that made them happy, sad, excited, and that challenged them.
Sound like yourself: there’s no need to be over formal.
Practise saying your eulogy aloud so you can hear if it sounds right, and don’t have to rely on your notes on the day.
Starting and ending
Don’t worry about creating an elegant opening or a beautiful ending. You can simply introduce yourself at the beginning, and end by saying goodbye. Or you can finish with some music or a reading that was important to the person who has died.
Our funeral directors are here to help you, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you’re unsure about what to do next, pick up the phone to your local funeral director and we’ll be there for you with our years of experience and understanding.