Delivering the Eulogy

At a time when grief and mourning may seem to dominate your thoughts, you may find it challenging to write a speech.Delivering a eulogy can be daunting if you are not accustomed to crafting a speech, or if you are not familiar with the strains of speaking publically that sometimes surprise even the most confident or self-assured of individuals. If you are reading this page, it's possible that you are planning a eulogy. What will you say?

Perhaps it helps to suggest that the eulogy is a way to honor the memory of the deceased. It is certainly a way for you to collect, organize and present information about the deceased to those who mourn his or her passing. You can lift up the spirits of the people who will receive your eulogy. In fact, the words you speak may be the part of the funeral or memorial service that someone remembers the most, the best, or the longest into the future. What you say and do could well live in the heart of someone who is listening. In effect, your efforts to deliver a personal, memorable speech about the deceased will help others to preserve their own memories.

First, recognize the fact that you were asked to deliver the eulogy in some way speaks to your relationship with the deceased and the family. Think of this as a reason to be comfortable and confident: others trust you; they are looking to you to play a meaningful role in the memorialization of their loved one.

Many people find it hard to speak before a group on a good day. Likewise, speaking about the loss of a loved one shortly after their death can certainly draw upon your emotions. Now, the eulogy must be prepared in a short period of time, and delivered confidently and without the display of tears or excess emotion. It's a tall order. These are issues to address in the thought and preparation you put in to the creation of your eulogy.

If you know your topic, and can organize your message, your audience will be attentive. You should draft an outline, then flesh it out with ideas, stories, and examples that drive home the points you wish to communicate. You can write out the whole eulogy in paragraph form or simply organize your ideas and give the eulogy without notes. Here are some ideas, or themes you may decide to include in your speech:

• A eulogy is an expression of regret for the loss;
• A eulogy is a celebration of the life and the things important to the person's life;
• A eulogy can include stories that reflect upon or include the person being remembered;
• A eulogy can include information about the awards, accomplishments, achievements or honors earned by the person being remembered;
• A eulogy can define or reflect upon the character qualities of the person being remembered;
• A eulogy can track the life and times chronologically, or just focus on nice memories in no particular order;
• A eulogy can include thoughts, ideas, stories, and information shared by many people, and it is preferable to accredit information to the people who provide it;
• A eulogy is a gift to the people who cared about the deceased;
• A eulogy can evoke tears;
• A eulogy can evoke laughter; and
• Delivering a eulogy is an honor.

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