"Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life." ― Albert Einstein
A personalized speech that is delivered at a funeral as a testimonial to the life of the deceased is known as a eulogy. The speech can be rendered by a close friend, or a near and dear relative of the person who has expired. You could say, a eulogy is one of the ways to share fond memories of the deceased with those present at the funeral service. In case you are not able to read it yourself, then you can ask one of your friends, or a close relative to read it for you. However, when you write a eulogy, remember that it is your way of honoring your loved one. What you say is more important than how you say it.
Different Ways to Present It
Sharing your personal memories about the deceased person is one of the most popular ways of writing a eulogy. Writing this type is easy. However, rendering it could be difficult because your emotions would be high on that day, as you are expressing the pain of losing a loved one.
Tribute or Legacy
This type of eulogy focuses on the accomplishments of the deceased. It can also include a brief description of the person's family left behind.
In this type, you start talking about the person's life right from childhood, and eventually progress through the major events that follow till death. Over here, you can elaborate on the characteristics of the person, and talk about his/her setbacks, strengths, and other best-known qualities. It is also known as factual eulogy.
This type talks about the interests or hobbies of the person. It can speak about the choice of religion, music, movies, sports, humor, philanthropy, etc. It is widely used to write for politicians and public figures.
A eulogy written in a poetic form is an elegy. It is not very commonly used, but can be employed to express deep feelings.
General Tips on Writing
One requires a lot of courage, mental strength, and presence of mind to pen it.
- Before you start writing, you should know for whom are you writing. You could write on behalf of your friend, relative, or a colleague. If you are writing and reading it on behalf of someone close to the deceased, then you should tell the listeners about how you are related to the person who passed away.
- When writing, you should time your eulogy. You are more likely to make the listeners feel awkward or uncomfortable if you speak for long. Try creating content that you can deliver in around five minutes.
- Always use a conversational tone to avoid monotony. This will help you render it more effectively, and it becomes interesting for the listeners as well.
- You can talk about your fond memories, the experiences you shared with the person, things he/she was passionate about, or give a brief outline of the events that occurred in the person's life from birth to death. A eulogy could be anything that speaks the truth in the form of anecdotes, songs, or poetry.
- Be confident and positive, and do not worry about what others might think of what you say. Keep it personal, and remember not to include things which can hurt the sentiments of anyone in the audience.
Finally, I would like to end this article with an apt quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who opines, He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.