How to Write a Eulogy
There’s nothing funny about someone dying, no matter what the current sitcom writers think. When you’re called upon to write a eulogy, you need to stop thinking that there’s something clever to say, and say something that is from the heart. Even if you’re not close to the person that has died, you need to create a speech that will help others in the audience remember the person, feel sorry for the family, and begin the healing process. Grief isn’t funny, but you can certainly write a eulogy that everyone can remember. And being remembered when you’re alive is a good deal too.
Know the Person
Okay, while you don’t need to be close to the person in order to begin to write a eulogy, not knowing them at all is going to make your speech a bit less effective. You will want to create a speech that is able to take into consideration the good qualities the person has, while also mentioning the family members who will be present. This will allow those who are close to the person feel appreciative to you, and they will also feel like you have captured a bit of who the person was. If you don’t really know the person you are writing about, take some time to sit down with the family to see what you can learn and how you can best represent them in your speech.
Have a Funny Story
Well, death can be funny when you have a funny story about the person who has died. You might want to ask the other family members about stories they might want to share. Since they might be too emotional to share them, you can be the one who will read them to the rest of the crowd. Talk about stories that describe a person who is kind and fun, or someone who had a wicked sense of humor as well. This story can be told at the start of the speech, helping to set the tone and to put the crowd at ease.
Steal Someone Else’s Words
And when all else fails, find a poem or a story that someone else wrote and use it in your speech. This will help you to create a strong speech without your having to actually write something that is unique. All you have to do is to credit the person at some point in the speech and you will be doing the right thing. A long poem about grief is a good idea to read, or you might want to use a poem that you know the deceased would have liked. Just don’t write your own poem unless you are a poet. That could be embarrassing.
A eulogy is not like a toast, but it can still make the crowd feel good. All you need to do is to think about what you want to say, who you are trying to celebrate, and you will find the words will flow.
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