Crafting a Meaningful Tribute: A Guide to Creating and Giving a Heartfelt Eulogy

A eulogy is a heartfelt speech that can be considered a final goodbye or tribute given at either a funeral, memorial or church service for a family member or friend. It is a way to share what they meant to you in a personalized way that isn’t just a resume but reflects the deceased person's values and what mattered most to them.

If you are giving a eulogy, consider the content, tone, and length of what you want to convey. Typically the person giving a eulogy is announced beforehand but if not be sure to introduce yourself and explain how you are related to the person who has died. This will help keep people more connected to your words and stories. If someone in the audience is trying to figure out who you are they may miss half of what you are saying and that would be a missed opportunity to share comfort during a time of sorrow.

To make a eulogy meaningful you should include some personal stories and interesting tidbits about the person you are saying goodbye to. Be sure to include other family members in your stroll down memory lane and try not to make it just about you although it’s sometimes hard as the eulogizer. A common mistake in giving a eulogy is oversharing or making it more about your loss rather than celebrating the person who is no longer living. Remember everyone you are speaking in front of is mourning the same person in their own way so keep that in mind when you are crafting your narrative.

The tone can be a combination of funny, serious, religious or anything that reflects the person who you are there to celebrate. When giving a eulogy it may be hard to know how long it should be. Nothing kills the unique spirit of a eulogy like a non-stop talker so keep it simple and speak from the heart but don’t make it any longer than 10 minutes.

It’s good to be prepared with some idea of what you are going to say as you may get overwhelmed with emotion so try not to wing it completely. Words can be quite powerful and carry great meaning. They can be comforting in times of sorrow to help with healing and aid in the grieving process, so be sure to choose them wisely.