Being asked to eulogize a loved one is a great honour, but it can also be nerve-wracking for even the most accomplished public speaker.
There are no set rules on how to eulogize a loved one, but in our experience, there are a few general points to consider. To assist you with writing and presenting a eulogy, we are pleased to offer the following tips.
Should you have any questions about eulogies, please do not hesitate to contact us or use our confidential Ask the Funeral Director form.
There are likely to be a few common themes that come to mind when thinking about a loved one's life, but it can be helpful to talk to others and listen to their thoughts. Reaching out to family members, friends and co-workers can help provide another perspective which may add to your eulogy.
This process can also help you learn more about some important aspects of your loved one's life you may wish to include in the eulogy, such as their education/career, hobbies or special interests, where they traveled and any other special accomplishments.
Organize Your Thoughts
Write down your own thoughts and any other memories or anecdotes you may have picked up on as you spoke to others. Don't worry about how it all fits together at first - just jot things down as you go. Once you have your thoughts on paper, map them out and go from there.
Write it Down
Your research and jot notes should give you a general idea of what you want to say. Our advice is to break it down into smaller chunks (Ex: family life, career etc.) and write each part individually. Write an introduction (which can be funny if you like), a conclusion and see how it all fits together.
Review and Revise
Try to have a complete first draft completed at least 2 days prior to the funeral. This will give you time to sleep on it, look things over and reflect on any changes you may want to make well in advance of the funeral.
Read over your eulogy several times in order to become familiar with it. At first, you can practice in front of a mirror, but if you feel comfortable with it, giving it a try in front of close friends or family is recommended.
Remember, there is no need to memorize your eulogy, so feel free to bring notes up to the podium. The practice should focus more on your delivery.
If you are a humorous person, than it is OK to make a few jokes. If you are an emotional person, it is OK to show your emotions during the eulogy. Remember, whether your loved one themselves asked you to eulogize them or a family member did - they did so for a reason. Be yourself and just do your best.
It's OK to Make them Laugh
A funeral is not a roast, however there is room for humour in your eulogy if you feel it is appropriate. Try to keep in mind the personality of your loved one and if you think they would appreciate humour or not. Also, as mentioned before, if you are a humorous person and were asked to do the eulogy, just be yourself.
Don't be Afraid to Show Emotion
Giving a eulogy is one of the most difficult things someone can do and those attending the funeral understand that and are there to support you in doing the best you can with a challenging task. If you shed a few tears, or need to take a few moments to re-focus, nobody will think anything less of you. Emotions are expected at a funeral and are nothing to be ashamed about.
Much like a eulogy, being asked to write an obituary is an honour, which can seem difficult for even for the most polished writer. At Speers, families can publish a full obituary- which can include pictures and videos - on our website at no extra charge. With your permission, we can also post obituaries on our facebook page to let the Regina and area community know about the funeral.
Many families also purchase an obituary in their local newspaper, such as the Regina Leader-Post. Your Funeral Director can assist you with this process and make all of the necessary arrangements with the Leader-Post or any other newspaper in Saskatchewan or elsewhere in Canada.
There are no set rules for writing an obituary, so feel free to be creative with how you would like it to be written. As an added resource, please feel free to reference our Sample Obituary Template by following the link below or contact us for assistance.