Don’t let the thought of writing intimidate you. You don’t have to be a novelist to move people. Everyone has a story to tell and that’s your job as a eulogist. Tell people your story.
In the book “A Labor of Love: How to Write a Eulogy,” author Garry Schaeffer says a eulogy should convey the feelings and experiences of the person giving the eulogy, and should be written in an informal, conversational tone. Schaeffer dispels the misconceptions that a eulogy should objectively summarize the person’s life or speak for all present. “Sit down and write from the heart,” says Kevin Stockham of Stockham Family Funeral Home in McPherson, Kan.
Traunero says eulogists often write about the person’s attributes, memories and common times that were shared together. Sometimes they include the deceased’s favorite poems, book passages, scripture verses, quotes, expressions, lines from songs or items that were written by the deceased. “Whatever is selected, it generally reflects the loved one’s lifestyle,” says Traunero.
These questions should get you thinking:
- How did you and the deceased become close?
- Is there a humorous or touching event that represents the essence of your passed loved one?
- What did you and others love and admire about the deceased?
- What will you miss most about him or her?
Some of the simplest thoughts are deeply touching and easy for those congregated to identify with. For example, “I’ll miss her smile,” or “I’ll never forget the way he crinkled his nose when he laughed,” are just as good as “I admired her selflessness.”