During the especially difficult time of dealing with the loss of a loved one, it can be doubly hard to know where to start if you are the chosen person for the writing of the eulogy. This remembrance speech, written with the purpose of paying tribute to your loved one, is a pivotal element of the funeral procedure. It can be challenging knowing where to start, so we are here to help you get started.
The opening section is where you want to set the tone, mood, and introductory elements to your speech. Here you can also give an insight into your relationship with your loved one. Remember, the tone should be respectful, but does not necessarily have to be sombre. Often, some light humour can brilliantly lighten the mood of the audience and open them up for the rest of the speech. A quote, poem, or scripture (even a quote from your loved one) can also be a good way to set the tone for the rest of the speech. Covering these basic things before moving onto the main chunk of the speech is always a good idea.
The middle section will be the longest and most important aspect of the eulogy. Here you can choose to either cover your loved one’s life in chronological order or choose a specific theme to thread through the speech. Themes can include love, friendship, happiness, laughter, family etc.
If you can, think outside the box and try to make your speech different from ones you might have heard before, using what has come before as inspiration to create something truly unique that reflects your loved one’s life personally and properly.
This middle section can cover a wide array of talking points, some of which are listed below:
- Significant life events
- Personal achievements
- Fond memories and stories
- Relationship with other people
- Travel experiences
Remember that this section does not have to be formal, and should ideally not feel like a mandatory listing of everything that person has done from beginning to end. Try to identify with the way your loved one affected you emotionally, and use this as a launchpad to create something truly unique and sentimentally resonant for the audience.
This is typically the shortest part of the eulogy but should essentially wrap-up and finalise any thematic elements you have explored or stories you have told. Once you have arrived at this section, all the hard work is done, so prepare to finish strong and create a truly memorable ending. Below are a few options you can use to summarise the speech effectively:
- Scripture or quote
- How the person would want to be remembered
- Final takeaways
- Thank everyone for attending
Things to remember
The length of your speech is something that will need to be taken into account. A eulogy of somewhere between 500 and 1000 words will take anywhere from 3.5 to 7.5 minutes to speak, so make sure that whatever your allocated time is, you give the appropriate time to prepare and hit the timings perfectly.
Remember also to speak slowly, and allow the words to sink in. Everyone in the audience is going to want to hear and ponder your words. Remember to pause at the appropriate times and give eye contact where necessary. This will also help you combat the inevitable nerves on the day.
At SC & BS Cocks, we understand that arranging a funeral can seem like a big task during such a difficult time. That is why we’re here to help every step of the way. Throughout the process, we’ll talk you through the different options available and offer advice on the choices that will best suit your requirements. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to get in touch or find us at our website.