A eulogy is a speech or piece of writing that honors a person’s life and is usually delivered at their funeral or memorial service.
Family caregivers who spent considerable time caring for aging and ill loved ones are often responsible for funeral planning and may be called upon to deliver a eulogy. Speaking publicly about a late loved one’s life and sharing memories with surviving family members and friends can be very challenging while coping with the recent death. However, many people find the process of writing a eulogy and delivering it to be very cathartic and even healing.
Being selected to eulogize a loved one is both an honor and a responsibility. If you are considering speaking at a funeral or memorial service or struggling with how to begin the writing process, consider the following helpful guidelines for writing a eulogy.
5. Lighten it up.
Just because you’re speaking at a funeral doesn’t mean that you must stick to serious topics. In fact, it’s often a good idea to include a humorous anecdote or quote in a eulogy. As long as you are respectful of your late loved one and their surviving family and friends, it is possible to mourn a loved one’s loss while reflecting on happier times. This is especially true if you are eulogizing someone who had a keen sense of humor or a cheery outlook on life.
6. Check your facts.
Consult friends and family members of the deceased if you are unsure about a certain date or the details of an anecdote you wish to use in your eulogy. Also, avoid exaggerating events and modifying dialogue when telling a story; you don’t want incorrect information to mar an otherwise good speech.
7. Recruit backup.
Despite your best efforts, you may become too emotional to deliver your eulogy as planned on the day of the funeral or memorial service. Make sure you have a few family members or friends at the ready to serve as backup speakers. If you get overwhelmed, one of these people may be able to finish reading your speech for you, or they can share their own memories of the deceased. This will take some of the pressure off you and may help you remain calmer.
While eulogies are popular at funerals and memorials, they are not required. After all, there is no one “right” way to honor a late loved one. You may decide that you are comfortable writing a eulogy but request that someone else deliver it. Perhaps you’d rather recite a poem that reminds you of your loved one or read one of their favorite religious passages. You may decide that you’d prefer to reflect on this person’s life privately instead of speaking publicly about it. Whatever you choose, above all be gentle with yourself and others at this delicate time.
This article was posted on Aging Care
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