Grand Rapids:

5 Tips to Write a Eulogy

Giving a speech in front of people can be intimidating, even without the additional pressure of honoring a loved one. At Gerst, we know how hard it can be to write a eulogy. Eulogies serve as a great opportunity to reflect and honor the deceased. It can be a powerful way for you and others to find closure and peace during great grief. At Gerst, we want to support you at every step, including writing the eulogy. Here are a few tips to help you begin!

What is a Eulogy?

A eulogy is a speech given by a loved one of the departed at a memorial service or funeral. It is a brief tribute to the deceased that aims to honor their life by sharing memories and expressing gratitude. The eulogy is an integral part of paying tribute to the deceased by providing comfort and a reminder of their life to those grieving. 

Essential structure 

While a eulogy is distinct from an obituary, it’s still important to include key details about the deceased’s life. Mention their early years, career or achievements, and family life to give a well-rounded picture of who they were. Including these essential details helps you stay focused on the person you are honoring. Weaving in these elements with meaningful stories and memories will ensure your eulogy is informative and heartfelt. Sometimes, beginning and ending with a story or memory can help provide an engaging introduction and conclusion. 

Consider the length

Eulogies are typically around 1000 words or about 6 to 8 minutes of speaking. This allows enough time to share meaningful memories and reflect on the deceased’s life without overwhelming the audience or taking up too much time from the rest of the ceremony. The speech should be heartfelt but concise. Writing an outline and practicing the speech several times will help you to be timely and confident when sharing your speech. 

Talk with others

Engaging in conversations and sharing stories with others who knew the deceased can be a powerful tool in crafting a meaningful eulogy. Each person had a unique relationship with the departed, and by gathering these perspectives, you can enrich your speech. This process not only helps in the writing process but also fosters a sense of community and shared remembrance, making the eulogy a collective tribute.

Be honest

When honoring someone’s life, the experiences and your relationship must be written honestly. Remember, the person who passed away was human and had their shortcomings. Acknowledging this in your speech can add authenticity. Trust your instincts, and write what feels most meaningful to you, including memories and opening up about the truth. By doing so, you can help both you and others find closure amidst the grief. Incorporating gentle humor or kindly mentioning the person’s shortcomings can be appropriate if it contributes to a genuine tribute. Commit to honesty in your eulogy, and healing will result from your speech. 

Support at Gerst

Our team is committed to offering you the comfort and options you deserve. With advances in technology, families have the opportunity to personalize services and honor their loved ones in ways that feel authentic to them. We also strive to provide ongoing support after the funeral through our social media pages, blogs, monthly newsletter, and online resources. If you are struggling, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are here for you!