Put simply, a eulogy is a way of saying farewell to someone who had died with the idea of triggering happy memories about that person in the minds of the audience. A eulogy should try to sum up the personality of the deceased, to let the congregation remember their voice, their interests, appreciate their qualities and to enjoy their company a moment longer.
Many people, if asked to deliver a eulogy, can feel a great deal of pressure; it is, after all, an honour to be asked to speak at a funeral. Remember though that there is no right or wrong way to deliver a eulogy and much of what you say will depend on both the personality of the deceased as well as the audience.
Perhaps the easiest way to start the writing process is to think of specific moments in the person’s life that will help to sum them up for your audience. Think big – what were the major moments in their life, their highlights? Think small – what were the little habits or characteristics that made them the individual they were? Think sad – acknowledge the times that they struggled, the challenges they faced. Think happy – what gave them the most pleasure during their lifetime?
You may also have to think of the audience, taking into account who will be listening. For example, there may be specific things to say, or to avoid saying! It can also be helpful to talk to other people who knew the deceased as they may be able to give you specific anecdotes about their life.
Remember as well, that your eulogy does not have to be all your own words. Did the deceased have a favourite poem that it would be fitting to read aloud? Perhaps they had a favourite piece of music or a song?
In fact, if you are struggling to find a way to end your eulogy, poetry or music are both good options. You could also simply end by saying what you would want to say to the person if they were still alive.
Your eulogy is a gift to the living with the hope that your words will help everyone, including yourself, deal with the grief and loss.
Whilst the eulogy is a tribute to the deceased that takes place at the funeral, the headstone is a longer lasting tribute and, if you decide to opt for a headstone, our headstone insurance team at UK Special Risks are ready to help make sure that the gravestone remains in good repair and a fitting memorial to a loved one. For questions about headstone insurance, please visit our website www.headstoneinsurance.co.uk or call 01634 862525 and one of our advisors will be happy to discuss your insurance requirements.