guide to writing a eulogy
A eulogy can simply be a recollection of personal memories that can be shared at some point during a funeral service by a member of the family, a friend or work colleague; or, it can be the presentation of a short biography of the life of the deceased. The writing of the biography and its presentation calls upon the person preparing and delivering it to be something of a creative writer and story teller if they are to hold the attentions of those present at the funeral.
If, on the other hand, a chronological account of the life of the deceased is to be presented, then the recollection of dates and places by family members and friends will be very important in putting together and presenting and accurate account of that life.
The biography would cover aspects of the deceased’s life that relate to his or her childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and in many cases, old age. Obviously reference would be made to some or all of the following:
- War service
- RSL/Club memberships
- Sporting interests
- Favourite holiday destinations
- Interests in books, films, music, television
- Favourite expressions
- Who was he/she? Think of a half- dozen words that best describe him/her
- What will you miss most and what will you always remember
Do not intend to cover every aspect associated with the person’s life. Remember, after about five minutes people become restless and switch off. The essential idea is to keep it brief. Five minutes is an appropriate length of time. If there is a gathering for refreshments after the funeral, this is an excellent opportunity to talk more about the person who has passed away.
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