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How To Write A Eulogy - The Basics

May 1, 2008
Writing and delivering a first rate eulogy is essential not only in honoring the deceased but it can have a lasting impact on those attending the service.

Because, long after the eulogy and funeral service is over, the main points and theme of the eulogy will be remembered and associated with that special person.

This article will outline the main points to consider when writing a eulogy that will honor someone's passing in a thoughtful and effective manner.

Consider a Theme

When I wrote my mother's eulogy, it began as an ad-hoc report of what my mother's guidance and parenting meant to me and my sisters. But eventually I settled on the theme of breaking the cycle of poverty and I'll explain the reason.

Mom lived in dire poverty as a young girl in Jamaica and later as a teen in Belize where I was born. After my father's untimely death she left us with relatives and came to America. She then re-married and acquired her Dental Assistant's certification from the ADAA.

So after few years she brought all of us to live with her in Chicago where I attended grammar school through Chicago State University. While growing up mom was very adamant that we would do well in school and we did, along with her checking our grammar school homework nightly!

So obviously I settled on the theme of breaking the cycle of poverty she had to endure as a child and a sub-theme stressing the importance of a good education for your children.

My point is, to consider the aspects of the special person's life or personality that would be the most cherished and remembered. And draft a report based on those topics centering on what you consider to be the most important aspect that should be remembered.

Accomplishments and Important Events

As you write your first draft you may remember certain accomplishments and special events in the life of your special person. In my case, I didn't have all the dates and places assembled, but I continued writing because you can loose your chain of thought.

So it can be a plus to assemble important documents and relevant information ahead of time. But if you didn't as I did, you can always update your eulogy later. The important thing is to get started and not let minor things distract you in the process.

Depending on the nature of the eulogy, you don't want it to turn out to be a long winded listing of all the accomplishments or a biography. You basically want to assemble the necessary documents and information that will be in line with the theme you chose to expound upon.

Finalizing Your Eulogy

After you're satisfied with your first draft, have another person or two including a non-relative read and critique your eulogy. You may get some good feedback on areas you may not have considered.

Then practice speaking the eulogy if you're going to make the address at the funeral service. It can help you to maybe re-organize the eulogy and to learn areas you may want to stress during the reading. If you think you'll be too emotionally overcome, select someone who is good at public speaking.

Overall, you want to be certain your eulogy will adequately honor your loved one and be a blessing to those present. You want to have a frame of mind that you'll send them off with positive thoughts of caring and appreciation.

And most of all, refrain from pointing fingers for the negative parts of this person's experience. Better to outline the positive life experience lessons your special person learned as a result of the trials we all will face in life.
About the Author
Sydney H. Nelson is a Microsoft Certified Professional Web Developer/Programmer. His website at
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