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Your guide to writing a meaningful eulogy
This is your moment to honour the memory of your lost loved one. To spark a flicker of nostalgia through the stories you tell. And maybe prompt a wry smile or a quiet chuckle as people reflect on their own memories of the person who’s passed.
Capturing someone’s life in a single speech can feel daunting. But it doesn't have to be. Our experienced women Funeral Specialists have spent years helping people craft moving eulogies. Here’s our advice to help you get started.
What is a eulogy?
A eulogy is a speech given during a funeral or memorial service. It’s usually delivered by a close family member or friend, but can also be led by a priest, minister or celebrant.
The tradition began in Ancient Greece when grand eulogies were given during large public memorials for soldiers lost at war. Today, they’re given at funeral services across many cultures and religions.
What makes a great eulogy
Like any great speech at a wedding or milestone birthday, a eulogy is best when spoken from the heart. It should be descriptive, heartfelt and original. It should touch on the positive attributes of your loved one, along with some of their greatest achievements or adventures.
Above all, a great eulogy should capture who your loved one was and the positive impact they had on the lives of people around them.
Five tips to help you write a great eulogy
Writing and delivering a eulogy can be a powerful step in the healing process.
Start from the very beginning
Share the highlights of their life, from their childhood to their final years. Friends or family who knew your loved one at different stages of their life will enjoy hearing something new about them.
Make it personal
Reflect on your memories and experiences with your loved one. You might share a story that shows the kind of person they were. You can address and speak to them directly if it feels right.
Be mindful of time
As a rule of thumb, keep your eulogy around the ten-minute mark (or under). This generally means writing around 1,000 words – but don’t worry. Things will start to flow naturally once you put pen to paper.
Search for inspiration
Look around the house for photographs or old videos that bring back special memories. You could also use letters or emails for inspiration.
Share the burden
Reach out to a close friend or family member to share ideas and craft the speech together. You might even ask that person to speak with you on the day. Your White Lady Funeral Specialist can also share her support and advice.
What to include in a eulogy
If you’re still not sure where to start, here are some ideas:
- When and where your loved one was born
- Any nicknames they might have had
- Immediate family members, including parents and children
- Details of their childhood, including school, hobbies or achievements
- Studies or early professional life, like their first job
- Details of any war or military service
- Passions or hobbies, such as travel, sport or art
- Any special stories, sayings or qualities
- Readings, music or poetry they loved
Need some inspiration?
We’ve heard our share of powerful and meaningful eulogies over the years. So, we’ve collected some examples to help you get started.
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