How to Write a Eulogy

Writing a eulogy can be a daunting and challenging task, but also very rewarding and a good way of constructing a memory bank, not only for the contributors and the writer but also the friends and family that attend the funeral service.
It can also be used in its printed form to share with family and friends, and for those that were not able to attend the funeral ceremony.

A eulogy is a wonderful way to acknowledge a life well-lived and share the respect that we have for each other. Eulogies take many forms. Some are a more formal history of the person and may include their academic achievements, working life and professional highlights. Others are more personal, which may include personal attributes, sharing of a funny story or an anecdote showing how the person has shared and impacted our lives.

In many cases, eulogies can be delivered by just one person speaking on behalf of family, friends and colleagues. Other times they are presented individually by multiple speakers, each usually addressing their memories from their own perspective.

Eulogies can be presented by family members, family friends, business or career colleagues, ministers or the funeral celebrant.

Some helpful ideas:

Most eulogies would include some of the following;

Introduction

  • About yourself, your relationship to the deceased
  • If reading on behalf of someone else, your relationship to that person
About the person who is eulogised

  • Early life and family
  • Working life and career achievements
  • Hobbies, interests & club memberships
  • Personal qualities & quirks
  • Memories & legacy
  • Closing quote or farewell statement

Writing from your memory and expressing what the person means to you is a good place to start.

Spending time with other significant family and friends to reminisce might be helpful to get a collective picture or different perspective of what to include and what to share in a different setting.

Looking at and sharing photos and memorabilia can be helpful too.

Writing your thoughts and memories down in note form can also help you work out what is important to you and others to share.

Write a rough draft that you can polish as you think and memories will often take shape.

Organise the information in some type of order – introduction, middle and end.

Write or type clearly the completed eulogy, read it out loud or perhaps let a trusted family member or friend read it as well.