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Writing a Eulogy Speech

© Copyright 2007 by  All rights reserved.

Before writing a eulogy speech be sure to get your eulogy ideas on paper and also write a proper outline.

Once you've completed the above steps, then its time to begin writing your rough draft.

WRITE A DRAFT and remember that your first draft will not be perfect.  You are experiencing difficult emotions.  If you are having troubles writing, don’t panic or give up.  Take a moment to gather yourself.  Review your outline.  It is also important to remember that editing is a large part of the writing process, and you will improve your draft as you work with it. 

Start off slowly, without knowing exactly what you are going to say.  Stick to your outline and let your ideas flow onto the paper.  Look at this as a warm-up.  You need to stretch before you run.  Try writing a letter to your loved one to get more ideas out (In fact, a letter format can be your entire eulogy).  Write as quickly as possible.  You will have time to go back and check for grammatical errors, or to change words around. 

BEGINNING THE EULOGY along with ending the eulogy can be the most difficult parts of the writing process.  Finding the perfect words to capture the attention of those in attendance is overwhelming.  Do you want to say something humorous?  Touching?  Shocking?  This is for you to decide.  Any of these beginnings are acceptable.  If you can’t think of the right way to start the eulogy, skip over it and keep writing.  You can always go back to it.  You want, however, to draw in the audience.  It should be powerful.  Here are some different ways to open your eulogy:

Quotes can be a humorous, inspirational, spiritual, or a religious way to kick start your eulogy.  The quote can be from someone famous, your loved one, a friend, the Bible, or any other book.  “Johann W. von Goethe once said, ‘A useless life is an early death.’  Luckily for Jennifer, this never applied to her extraordinary existence.”  “I remember when Bill used to say, ‘God sure has a since of humor, because if he didn’t, I wouldn’t have married your mother.’  I used to chuckle every time he poked fun at his wonderful marriage.  Bill and Molly were definitely soul mates.”  Remember that these quotes can be used anywhere throughout the eulogy.  Use as many as you feel are necessary.

Questions.  Begin the eulogy with a question, and give the answer.  “My father once asked me, ‘Michael, what do you think you will wish for on your deathbed?’  I looked at him blankly.  He replied, ‘I can tell you what I won’t say.  God, I wish I had worked more, or made more money.  I will say, I wish I had more time to spend with my family.’  That is what made dad so great.  His complete, unconditional love for his family.”     

POEM.  A poem is a great way to begin a eulogy.  It can be one you created, or a favorite poem of your loved one.  The best poem to use is one that has strong meaning to you. 
That we may mark with wonder and chaste dread
At hour of noon, when, with our limbs outspread
Lazily in the whispering grass, we lie
To gaze out fully upon the windy sky-
Far, far away, and kindly, friend with friend
To talk the old, old talk that has no end,
Roaming-without a name-without a chart
The unknown garden of another’s heart.  C.S. Lewis

The continuation, or body of the eulogy should follow the opening of your rough draft or outline as closely as possible.  Remember, however, that you want your writing to have a conversational feel to it.  When you are done talking about one subject, move on to the next topic in your outline.  The more detailed your outline, the faster your writing will occur.  When you run out of thoughts within a topic, just move to the next topic.  You will be able to edit these later.     

You want the ending to be a few sentences that ties what you have said together.  You want your listeners to have a feeling that everything has been closed and tied neatly together.  You can restate an important point or theme found throughout your eulogy, or you can summarize how your loved one touched your life.  Asking a question is also a great way of ending the eulogy.  JUST REMEMBER TO ALSO GIVE THE ANSWER.

The length of your eulogy is up to you.  Take the time needed to say everything that you want to convey, but remember that keeping the attention of the audience is important.  You do not want to ramble on too long.  A great length is 3 to 5 minutes.  This is anywhere from 1 to 3 pages, single-spaced.  Also keep in mind how quickly your delivery will be, because this will very the lengths of both.  This is why practicing is very crucial. 

For more free information on eulogy writing assistance, please visit  our site at

Other resources:

Example Eulogy Speech  Resource offering proven and pre-written eulogies to help you prepare your funeral speech.  Offers sample eulogies, examples, and funeral poems for the loss of family and friends.


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