A eulogy is a commemorative speech given to honor the life lived. Sometimes, people will write their own eulogy ahead of time to be read after their death. More often than not, survivors will write the eulogy for the person who has died.
The eulogy is typically delivered by a family member, close friend, or funeral officiant or celebrant at a funeral or memorial service. Many people find it very healing to reflect and recapitulate their loved one’s life story. As many of us may not have had to write a eulogy before, here are some helpful tips on what information to gather for developing the eulogy:
- Information about the decedent’s birthplace and family growing up, include parents or siblings. Stories of a person’s childhood are great to share if these are known
- Any information about their education or military service
- If they were married, when and how they met their spouse
- If they had children, share a story of a favorite memory, such as a memorable holiday or vacation
- Organizations or fraternal affiliations that the deceased belonged to
- A favorite song or inspirational quote may be very meaningful to include.
Using this information, a person can draft the eulogy based on their loved one’s life story. If people are not comfortable speaking in front of an audience, especially during such a difficult time, they may select a representative to read a story they share on their behalf, or the eulogist will read these as part of the eulogy.