As a funeral celebrant, I work with families to ensure a beautiful and personalised farewell for their loved one. An element of this is writing a eulogy, sometimes called a tribute or life story.
Often I will prepare the eulogy based upon information provided by the family. Some families prefer to write their own, either to be read on the day by me or by a member of the family or a friend. If they wish I can support them in this task by offering advice on structure, timings, content etc. Here are some tips that may help;
There isn’t a ‘right way’
Whilst there are some tips that can help you when writing a eulogy, there is no right or wrong way to do it.
Consider a mixture of biographical details and personal memories
Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start when writing a eulogy. Including biographical details in some sort of chronology can provide a shape within which to include more personal memories
Make a list of adjectives to describe your loved one
Including a description of your loved one at the beginning or the end can be a lovely way to start or end your eulogy.
Consider the person’s whole life span
It is easy to focus on someone’s later life which you may have more information about. Including any knowledge you have about their childhood, achievements at school and college, as well as their career, contributions to their community, family memories etc.
Think about different aspects of their life
At most farewell ceremonies there will be people who knew your loved one from a number of different aspects of their life; for example work colleagues and friends through shared interests. It is lovely if a eulogy has meaning and evokes memories for everyone present.