How to write a eulogy

Finding the words to say goodbye

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Worried about writing a eulogy?

We’ve got you covered. Our 7 Step Guide: How to Write a Eulogy is everything you need to write a heartfelt eulogy for your loved one.

Plus, we’ve got a template for you to download and get started right away. You can do this.

Overview of writing a eulogy

Writing a eulogy can be a daunting prospect. Take a deep breath, exhale and follow these steps.

  1. Refer to our easy 7 Step Guide: How to Write a Eulogy (below)
  2. Download our ‘How to write a eulogy’ template. MS WORD or PDF
  3. Write between 500 to 1000 words.

As Henry Ford once said, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”

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Before You Start

  • Target writing between 500 and 1000 words
  • 500 words = 3 mins to read
  • 1000 words = 7 mins to read

Anecdote = short interesting and positive story about a memorable incident involving your loved one.

Steps 1 & 2: Research/Opening

Instructions:
  • Choose your favorite anecdote from your stand-out moment’s
  • Show the true and personal nature of your relationship with your loved one.

 

Step 3: Who is your audience?

Instructions:

Introduce yourself as not all attending the service may know you.

Eulogy Script:

I’m (Name’s) daughter/son/wife/husband for those of you who don’t know me.

Name touched the heart of all those she/he met, and I thank you all for being here to honor her/him.

 

 

Step 4: Write about achievements/a short bio

Instructions:
  • Choose the starting point on your loved one’s timeline.
  • Highlight the events that best reflects who he/she was and how others will remember him/her.
  • Expand on events here
    (if > 500 words)
    For example, you may also add more school, university, career, family, community, sport, and retirement achievements
Eulogy Script:

(Name) was grew up in _____________.
As a warm, compassionate woman/man who always _______________ people naturally ______________.

With a passion for (life, art, sport, practical jokes), Name became known for _____.

Step 5: Family Recollections

did/saidInstructions:
  • Recall a short positive anecdote that captures your loved one’s character and their role in the family.
  • Expand on heartfelt anecdotes here (but keep to your word limit.)
Eulogy Script:

Everyone’s experience of family and growing up is different. But the time I treasure most is when (name) did/said ___________________.

 

Step 6: The Closing Goodbye

Eulogy Script:

It’s hard to say goodbye and move on.  But if we keep beautiful memories in our hearts, we can find comfort in our minds knowing (name) will always be with us.

As (name) always said, “______________” .

We all love you and will miss you dearly.

 

Step 7: Proofread

Instructions:
  • Check dates and names are correct
  • Assess the overall tone
    Is the eulogy respectful, optimistic, heartfelt?
  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to read the eulogy
  • Approve. Do all family members agree with/approve of the eulogy?
  • Read the eulogy aloud and time
  • Practice reading the eulogy aloud.

Full example: 500 words

‘Mom’s Eulogy’ is 660 words long.
The reading time is 5 minutes.
Suggested places to pause have been noted.

Eulogy for Elizabeth Ann

Eulogy for Elizabeth Anne

[Opening Steps]
Just a couple of years back, Elizabeth, my beloved mother, and I found ourselves in a peculiar situation with the police. Picture this: I’m behind the wheel, driving at a snail’s pace, when we get pulled over. The officer, inquires if I’ve been drinking because I was driving under the speed limit. Before I can even muster a response, there’s mom, leaning over with that mischievous glint in her eye, informing the officer, “Oh, no officer, she’s sober. But you might want to check the trunk; we’ve got a whole nursery of pot plants back there.”

[PAUSE FOR A BEAT – LET THE AUDIENCE SAVOR THE MOMENT]

Imagine the scene as the trunk pops open, revealing nothing more than mom’s prized garden plants. The look of sheer bewilderment mixed with amusement on both the officer’s and Elizabeth’s faces was a sight to behold.

[PAUSE – GIVE THE ROOM A MOMENT TO ENJOY]

Elizabeth’s passion for gardening was no secret; her green thumb was almost as famous as her boundless warmth. That day, she was merely trying to spread a little of her joy for gardening, even in the most unexpected of ways.

Such was my mother; always a beacon of light, brightening up the day for everyone around her.

[PAUSE – LET THE AUDIENCE REFLECT ON THEIR JOYFUL MEMORIES OF ELIZABETH]

[Introduction]
For those who might not know me, I’m Sarah, Elizabeth’s youngest of three daughters. And, admittedly, not quite the gardener she was. Today, as we gather to celebrate her life, I see her spirit reflected in each of you. Elizabeth, or as we fondly called her, Liz, had a knack for touching our lives in the most profound ways. She’s probably watching over us now, from her celestial garden, grateful for your presence and reminding us to find solace in the joy of our shared memories rather than in our sorrow.

[PAUSE – ALLOW EVERYONE TO CONNECT WITH THEIR FEELINGS]

[The Heart of the Eulogy]
Liz’s journey began in a cozy Miami home, raised by her mother after the early loss of her father. Despite the hardships, she grew up with a strong moral compass and an array of skills that would make her the marvel of any home. Yet, it was the piano that captured her heart, dreaming of one day gracing the world as a concert pianist.

[PAUSE – LET THIS NEW INSIGHT SINK IN]

Though life’s twists and turns led her away from the concert stage, Liz never lost her love for music, channeling her passion into shaping young minds as a middle school music teacher. It was there she met my father, and together they chose to build a life filled with music, love, and laughter.

Raising us became her new dream, one she embraced with every ounce of her being. Each night, she would trace a heart on our palms, whispering, “My love will always be with you. Sweet dreams.” She was the embodiment of courage, strength, and inspiration, and it’s a void that she’s no longer here to fill.

[PAUSE – TAKE A MOMENT TO BREATHE]

Yet, standing here, I feel her encouraging us to find strength within ourselves, to be sources of inspiration for each other.

[PAUSE – LET THE AUDIENCE PONDER THIS MESSAGE]

[The Legacy]
Elizabeth and my father were a formidable team, their lives a blend of harmony and occasional discord, much like any beautiful piece of music. The memory of her impromptu Thanksgiving piano concert, which drew a crowd of over 150 people from all walks of life, remains a testament to the love and admiration many held for her. Without the aid of social media, Elizabeth’s spirit, her generosity, and her music brought together a community in celebration of life’s simple joys.

[Conclusion]
Letting go is never easy, but Elizabeth taught us the power of holding onto beautiful memories. They are our solace, our strength, and our guide to moving forward with her love in our hearts.

As she often quoted, “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

Elizabeth, may your gardens flourish and your music play on in the heavens.

We love you, we miss you, and we are forever grateful for the time we had with you. God bless.

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