Delivering a Eulogy
Delivering a eulogy is both an honor, and an incredible responsibility. If you have been asked by the family and friends of someone who has passed on to speak at the funeral or memorial service, chances are you are feeling a number of emotions. You are of course privileged at their request, and possibly concerned in accordingly delivering your speech. Here are just a few things to remember that will assist you in the process of writing, preparing, and delivering the eulogy.
Understand the Honor
First and foremost, do not let yourself forget this simple fact: In asking you to deliver the eulogy, the family of the deceased has bestowed upon you an incredible honor. From a lifetime of people their lost loved one had come to know, they chose you to say this final goodbye. If you are feeling insecure, just remember that they must have believed in you, therefore you should believe in yourself.
Schedule Preparation Time
Set aside plenty of time be alone in a quiet, comfortable space to plan and write the eulogy. You may need to take a break from writing and come back to it. Do not wait until the last minute as this will lead to unnecessary stress, and the feeling of being rushed could limit your ability to focus.
If you are not sure where to start, start anyway. Begin writing anything that comes to mind. Use a basic outline as you were giving any other speech to form an introduction, the core content of the eulogy, and a conclusion. If you wish to include a scripture, quote, or poetry, you may want to open or conclude your speech with one of those. Try and remember any happy memories, hobbies, accomplishments, quotes, talents and passions that made the individual you are speaking about unique. Be sure to address the family directly at least once, and offer kind and supportive words to them in their time of grief.
Welcome Your Emotions
If you were close to the person who has passed away, chances are you are also grieving the loss. Allow yourself to cry if you feel the need. You will find it may even be healing. Many times the reality of losing someone you care about sets in at the memorial service. It may make it a little easier to deliver the eulogy if you have allowed yourself to first grieve in private.
As your eulogy comes together, record or video yourself delivering it. This will allow you to hear what the friends and family at the service will hear. You may also find changes that need to be made, or realize you need to add something else. The eulogy should be anywhere from 3-5 minutes. Recording yourself will give you a good idea of how much time you will be speaking.
When you feel that the eulogy is complete, set it aside and take a break and come back to it one final time. Once complete, it is a good idea to go ahead and put the eulogy in your car, purse, or wallet to ensure you do not forget to bring it with you to the service.
Prepare Your Body
On the evening before the memorial, be sure and prepare yourself by getting a good night’s rest and avoid any unnecessary stress. The day of, drink plenty of water and have at least one balanced meal. This will improve your ability to focus and decrease anxiety.
Just Be Yourself
When it is time for you to deliver the eulogy, just be yourself. After all, YOU are the one the family chose to speak at the service, not anyone else. You do not have to be an experienced, professional speaker in order for your eulogy to honor the one who has passed away or to touch the family. You simply need to be sincere, and the rest will come naturally. Allow yourself to be a blessing to those mourning the loss of their loved one, and it will be just as much of a blessing to you.
Forest Lawn Funeral Home serves the Mobile, Alabama area with funeral and cremation services, grief support, pre-planning, and more!
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Advice on Delivering a Eulogy
Delivering a Eulogy