How You Can Give an Exceptional Eulogy

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For funerals at funeral homes, you have been asked by the family of a close friend of yours to offer a eulogy at their funeral service. The bereaved family has asked you because you were close enough to their loved one to fully pay tribute to them and honor their memory, through stories, humor, and love.

You may feel overwhelmed with the prospect of having to give a eulogy because you’re not a professional speaker or writer. In addition, you are also grieving the loss of a dear friend, so it’s hard to set your emotions to the side to present a coherent and meaningful tribute to a great life that has been lived and has been lost.

One of the biggest stressors about being asked to give a eulogy is fear of disappointing or embarrassing your friend’s family by messing up in the delivery of the eulogy.

The first thing you need to think about is that a eulogy is less about the person delivering it and how well they do it and more about the eulogy being thoughtful, genuine, and respectful in paying tribute to somebody who was very much loved.

An exceptional eulogy should tell stories about how your friend made in a positive difference in the world while they were in. Your eulogy should shine a light on their milestones, their accomplishments, and their relationships, among which yours was one.

There are several parts to an exceptional eulogy. First, you should highlight the big and important things that happened during your friend’s life. These include your friend’s birth, education, career, and relationships, including marriage, children, and your friendship with them.

Next, your eulogy should focus on the key attributes that define your friend. This lets you give an insightful look into who your friend was as a person (for example, gentle, humorous, thoughtful, caring, helpful, kind, honest, and generous, to name a few).

Last, your eulogy should provide good memories you and others shared with your friend. These are for the family and will give them a lot of comfort, and maybe even some laughter and happiness in the middle of grieving their loss.

You can focus your eulogy on one thing that your friend was known for. If your friend loved sports or music, for example, your eulogy can demonstrate how those were important aspects of your friend’s life. This kind of eulogy is the easiest to prepare and present.

Don’t try to ad lib your eulogy. Write it out. Write a draft, then sleep on it and go back and edit it. Ask someone else to read it – maybe even out loud to you – and give you feedback on what changes they would make Sometimes hearing something you wrote read aloud by someone else is a good way to know how to edit your eulogy for flow and clarity.

Once you’ve finished your eulogy, have someone you trust edit it. Errors like misspellings or incorrect punctuation can cause you to stumble while presenting your eulogy, and you want to avoid that if possible.

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Practice giving your eulogy alone and in front of your family or a few friends until you feel comfortable with it. If you’re worried about getting emotional while you’re delivering your eulogy, speak slowly so that you can more easily master the tougher moments you encounter.

If you need guidance on giving eulogies at funeral homes, our empathetic and knowledgeable staff at Hopler & Eschbach Funeral Home can assist you.