Being asked to speak at someone’s funeral is a great privilege. And with that privilege comes the pressure of writing and delivering a well-written eulogy that honors the memory of the deceased friend or family member.
Where do you start? Should the eulogy be serious or humorous? Should you share the person’s accomplishments or light-hearted anecdotes? Do you keep it brief or more substantial?
Typically you’ll only have two or three days to prepare your funeral speech, so you’ll want to get started pretty quickly. Set aside at least a couple of hours for the process. Don’t wait until the last minute to make notes or plan to simply “wing it.” You want to ensure the tone is appropriate and the wording correct.
Here are four expert tips for crafting a memorable and appropriate eulogy:
1. Don’t start writing right away. Instead, find a quiet place to reflect on your family member or friend. Sit with a cup of coffee and just think about that person’s life, what he or she meant to you and how you might sum up the relationship.
2. Next, make notes of key points you want to convey. Maybe it’s a funny story or a heartfelt memory. This also will help you determine the tone of your speech. If your friend loved to laugh and joke, it may be appropriate to write a light-hearted eulogy. If your family member was more serious or passed away under tragic circumstances, a more somber eulogy is probably better suited for the service.
3. Keep the eulogy brief. Less than 5 minutes and even 3 or 4 minutes is recommended. This is especially important if other people have been asked to speak. You want to ensure the service doesn’t run off schedule.
4. Practice your speech. You can read out loud in private or, even better, rehearse it in front of a trusted family member or friend who will give you honest feedback.
5. Even if you’re accustomed to public speaking, remember a eulogy is different. You’ll be giving a speech while most likely fighting back tears or a lump in your throat. By running through the eulogy a couple of times in advance, you’ll feel more comfortable as you step to the microphone.Lastly, remember what an honor it is to speak at someone’s funeral or memorial service. Don’t be surprised if you feel emotional and don’t feel embarrassed if you shed a few tears during the speech. Have a tissue or a glass of water handy just in case you need them. Take a moment to collect yourself at the podium or microphone and then simply share your heart-felt words and stories, knowing your friend or family member would be proud.
Stuhr Funeral Home, a trusted name in funeral service for more than 150 years, understands that everyone grieves differently. They have the resources and experts to help you prepare for every aspect of the service. Together, they’re dedicated to providing the best and most professional care for their clients during their time of grieving and healing.
For more information, stop by one of our locations in the area or call (843) 723-2524.