Giving a eulogy is an important part of many funerals in South Carolina. A eulogy is a speech that is usually delivered by a family member or close friend and typically the speaker praises and fond memories of the loved one. If you are asked to deliver this speech, you may wonder how to write a eulogy that will do your best friend or loved one justice. Consider these tips to get started.
Start by Writing Down Memories and Stories
The first thing to do is gather ideas, and one of the best places to start is with your memories. Write down your favorite stories of the person you want to share with their friends and family members. Try to think of inspirational, memorable, and even funny moments you shared with this person. You can go back later and edit anything you feel should be omitted for the speech, but for now, simply gather ideas. Keep in mind that funny stories are perfectly acceptable at most funerals, so do not shy away from those.
Think of the Family and Loved Ones
It is a good idea to keep the family in mind as you write the eulogy. They will appreciate any memories you have to share about their loved one, and the eulogy is also a sort of message to the family members as well as a remembrance. What do you want the family to know and remember about this person? What did this person mean to you and their loved ones?
It can be helpful to write down the names of the family members who will be there. This not only saves you from potentially forgetting the names on the big day, but it can make the eulogy more meaningful to incorporate the names of family members into the speech.
Look for a Theme With the Memories
Once you have written down a few of your favorite memories, look for a common theme between some of them that you can incorporate as the speech’s theme. Do the stories recount the history and high points of your friend or loved one? Was this dear one’s life filled with charity and giving? Was he or she daring and adventurous? Did he or she have a favorite song, poem, book, or another source of inspiration for living? Identify that theme and weave it into your speech. It could be something as simple as a biography or more specialized in its message.
Choose a Light or Serious Tone
Although eulogies are often given at funerals, the tone can be lighthearted or serious. As the presenter of the eulogy, you get to decide the tone to take. Again, keep the family in mind as well as the type of service. Lighthearted eulogies are usually appropriate and even appreciated, but you still want to approach the ceremony with respect. You can mix the two and start light and then transition to serious. When in doubt, ask the family directly for feedback on your eulogy and if taking a lighthearted tone is acceptable.
Make an Outline
Next, it is time to make an outline of your speech. You can start with introducing yourself and your relationship to the person the eulogy is about. The beginning is a great place to start with a fond memory of the person, which you can then transition to the theme of the eulogy if you have a theme. How you close the eulogy is entirely up to you. You could give a message to the family, talk about the impact the person had on everyone at the service, or say how much the person meant to you.
Include Something About the Family
Remember while writing a eulogy to include something specific about the person’s family life and to give a message directly to the family members at some point. You may even wish to direct your speech to the family members who will likely be sitting in the front rows at the service.
Ask for Feedback
Take your time in writing out your speech. Once you have a draft compiled, give it a read-through and make any edits or revisions that you feel are appropriate. Next, find someone you trust to read the eulogy and provide some feedback. You could ask a friend or family member of your own or someone related to the person the eulogy is about.
It is up to you what you decide to include or cut from your initial draft. If you have a time limit on giving the eulogy, keep this in mind and ensure you have enough to fill the time appropriately without going over. If there is no time limit, feel free to share everything you feel is fitting for the service.
Practice in Advance
You should practice the eulogy well in advance of the actual service. Practicing can help calm your nerves and keep your emotions in check as you speak. While you are likely to have different emotions while giving the speech at the service, practicing can help you deliver it confidently.
It can also be beneficial to have someone listen to you practicing and provide feedback. You may speak a little fast or slow at certain times, and having someone to help you identify those areas that need a little polishing can be helpful.
Have a Backup Just in Case
If you were really close to the person you are speaking about and worried about getting emotional during your speech, it can be beneficial to have someone as a backup and support you while you are giving the eulogy. You may decide to have this person step in and deliver the speech if you are unable to speak, or the person may just stand close to you as physical and emotional support. This is a personal choice but can be useful if you know emotions may overcome you.
Know That You Can Ask Someone To Write the Eulogy
Remember also that if you simply cannot write the eulogy yourself for any reason, you can ask someone to do it for you. You may wish to have meetings with this person so that your ideas and input can be incorporated into the speech directly, especially if you are the one who will be giving it at the service. You may even wish to consult with the funeral director, such as the staff at Robinson Funeral Home, for additional guidance on writing a eulogy.
It is an honor to be asked to give the eulogy at a dear one’s funeral service. Writing the eulogy can seem daunting at first, but if you speak from the heart and anchor your words and thoughts onto memories you have of the person, you can steer the speech in a pleasant and memorable direction. The family of your friend or loved one will be grateful for any praises or remembrances you have to share on this emotion-filled occasion.
To learn more about planning a funeral or celebration of life for yourself or for someone you hold dear, contact the compassionate staff at Robinson Funeral Home in South Carolina using our online form or by calling 864-859-4001.