Putting together a touching and meaningful eulogy can seem difficult for a number of reasons. One of the most obvious is that you are likely trying to eulogize someone that you cared about, and the pain of the loss is brand new. This can make finding inspiration a bit difficult.
One of the best ways to find inspiration when writing a eulogy is to draw on memories. As you begin to write, try to remember if he said anything that would lend itself to your eulogy. For example, a woman was writing a eulogy for her brother who had died after a long battle with cancer. About a month before he died he said, “Sometimes we have to give in and let go.” She used that as the opening line of the eulogy.
It is not just spoken words that can be incorporated into a eulogy. Use your lifetime of memories of the one being eulogized to help bring the eulogy to life. You can do this by mentioning what he liked to do, funny things that he said or even a memorable faux pas that he made. Each of those can add another layer to the eulogy and will help those gathered to learn something about him that they did not know.
A very effective writing tool is to use a memory as a thread that runs through the eulogy. This will help to tie the whole thing together, making it even more impactful and memorable. Below is a brief example of how to use a memory in this way.
In the opening paragraph:
When we were kids, he always had to be first. First at the table. First to the school bus. First to the pile of presents under the Christmas tree.
About halfway through the eulogy:
One of the reasons that he loved being first was that he’d be able to have something to teach those of us who showed up later. If he got the Christmas tree first, he could say “Your presents are over there!” If he got to the table first, he could say “You won’t like the vegetables tonight!” He loved to have a bit of knowledge that the rest of us didn’t have yet.
In the closing paragraph:
He loved to be first. Now, he is first to pass from this life. I believe that he is waiting for us, and will greet us with that big grin, and an eagerness to show us all around his wonderful new home.
Of course, a brief mention of a memory can be just as meaningful. Just be careful not to weigh down the eulogy with a long list of memories. Instead, choose one or two of your favorites and incorporate them in such a way that they flow well with the rest of the eulogy.