December 5, 2010 by admin
Filed under How to write a eulogy, Listing Key Points When Preparing to Write a Eulogy
Writing a eulogy is often an emotional task. For this reason, many who are called upon to write such a tribute make some common mistakes. These include making the eulogy about the speaker and the speaker’s feelings rather than about the deceased. Below is an example.
“As you know I was very close to John. I was so devastated when I got the news that I had to leave work early. It’s been a tough few days for me, but I know it will get easier each day.”
While there is nothing really “wrong” with that, how does it serve to eulogize the deceased? Instead, you should focus on the traits, accomplishments and other wonderful things about the deceased that make you miss him or her so much.
Rambling is also common when delivering a eulogy. Again, a funeral or memorial service is an emotional time. That doesn’t mean, however, that you must give in to the emotion at the moment that you are delivering the eulogy.
Making a list of key points is a great way to avoid both of the above faux pas. Before you begin writing, make a list of some items that you want everyone in the audience to know about the deceased. Some could be funny, others poignant. Write freely as you make your list. There is no obligation to include every single item in the eulogy. Instead, making a list of key points will serve as a guide for your writing. Below is what a key points list might look like.
- Always there for his friends
- Amazing father
- Stole the rivals mascot in college
- Literally gave the coat off his back to a homeless man
- Slept through one of his final exams, but charmed the professor into letting him take it
- Never missed an opportunity for fun
Using those key ideas as jumping off points, you can then begin to write and shape the eulogy. Because you have so many key points that you want the audience to know, you will be less likely to make the eulogy about you, instead of about the deceased.
Also, because you will have a well-written eulogy, complete with key points, you will be much less likely to ramble.
When you print off your notes to use when delivering the eulogy, consider having just the key points listed. You likely already know the stories by heart, so there is no need to type them out in their entirety.
By having just the key points as notes, you will be able to hit on everything that you want to discuss, but will not sound as though you are reading the entire eulogy.
The key points will help you stay on track, but without sticking to a word by word speech.