When you’re asked to give a funeral / Eulogy speech for a friend or family member, it’s a great honor. Out of everyone in the family or that the person loved, you were picked to celebrate his or her life. However, when you’re picked to compose a eulogy for father or mother, the honor becomes the toughest task in your life.
Many people have probably given you advice on how to write a eulogy. Some of the advice may be good like pick out good memories to write about or speak from the heart. Unfortunately, some advice can be terrible like include insider jokes about the deceased because you want to share things that the audience may not know about your father or mother.
However, the best advice is looking at examples of eulogies. Eulogy examples can give you insight to what you should or shouldn’t include in the speech. The right eulogy example also shows you the writing style that most people use to compose this speech. Before starting to write your eulogy look at as many eulogy samples as possible. You don’t want to copy them word for word. You’re just looking for ideas.
The following is one eulogy example for a parent.
Eulogy for Parent or Step-Parent
Start this speech like you would any other speech, with an introduction. For example, you may say, “Thank you for coming here today to celebrate and share the live of my amazing (mother/or father). For those who do not know me, my name is (insert your name). I am the oldest child.”
Many people easy into the eulogy by recalling their parent’s favorite saying or earliest memory. For instance, you may say something like:
For me and my siblings (use their names), Dad was the guiding force in our lives. He set the path for use by showing us the importance of being a good spouse, parent, son and friend. He always did his best to show patience when we were at our worst. Believe me, with six of us running around the house it wasn’t probably no easy task.
Dad always made it a point to set aside quality time with each of us separately. I don’t know how he did it while working two full-time jobs. In fact, we never complained or became jealous of one another when it was someone else’s turn because we knew we could talk to him whenever we needed to.
I remember the first we had one of our quality time talks. I was about nine. I was sitting at the kitchen table while he made breakfast. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been the first of all the children to wake up.
Then, like the last time Dad and I spoke, I was amazed how he never missed out on anything that happened in my life. He could ask me questions about school, work or the children’s activities. He never outright offered helpful advice, but somehow I came away with the exact advice I needed to solve a problem I was struggling with.
As for his life with my mom, he set a glowing example of the kind of beautiful, unconditional love required for a successful marriage. I remember when Dad quit his job to start the family business. Even though I was seven years old, I could tell he was worried about failing Mom. He knew she supported him so he wanted to make her proud.
Dad was a great employer and friend. He made sure his workers never needed anything. He did the same for his friends.
The Middle of the Eulogy
Every eulogy has a middle and ending. What you put in those areas are up to you. However, most people choose to include other family members and their memories. This gives the eulogy more meaning. Even though you are speaking the words, family members feel like they made a meaningful contribution.
This requires talking to your relatives like your surviving parent, relatives and siblings. Talking with your family does come with a warning. These mini interviews may turn into support sessions or celebrating your parent’s memory. It can become a good way to work through your grief. An example of mentioning family in your eulogy sounds something like this:
As much as I want to believe I was Dad’s favorite child, I know he didn’t have favorites. He tried us equally. He used to say my daughter Jane was a great singer or Terry the painter. He had names for all of us that made up feel special.
How to End a Eulogy
You want end your eulogy by including a couple of things. You want the audience, especially strangers and associates of your parent, to have a sense of who he or she was. Most importantly, you want everyone to leave the funeral with a sense of satisfaction.
You want participants to feel like your parent was not only remembered for the good deeds and great person he or she was, but celebrated too. After all, everyone must deal with the grief associated with your parent’s passing. Most people typically look to the eulogy for some solace and support.
When composing the end of your eulogy, think about how your parent comforted you when you were hurt and grieving. What words did he or she say that made you feel better? This may be tricky if you and your parent were close enough to share those moments. If that’s the case, you decide to end with his or her favorite passage from the Bible, song lyrics or poem (as long as they are appropriate and celebrate his or her life). For example:
You all know how devoted to God, faith and the church Dad was. He never failed to miss a Sunday mass or church event even in the final stages of his cancer battle. Shortly before he died, Dad shared with me what he wanted us to remember after he was gone. He said, “Spend quality with each other and seek new challenges understanding that you could fail, but knowing you did you best.”
Dad, I know even though you’re physically not here with us, you’ll never leave us. You’re sitting with Papa George and Granny M in heaven sharing funny stories and watching over all of us. In honor of your life, devotion to family and faith, I’d like use to sing Dad’s favorite hymn….
Things to Remember about Writing a Eulogy
Eulogies are a great honor and challenging task. You must remember and celebrate the life of a loved one. However, when the loved one is your mother or father, sometimes your mind goes blank. It’s not that you have nothing to say. You have too much that you want to say. So, before writing the eulogy, look at a lot of examples. Remember write from the heart. It may take several drafts, but you’ll end up making your parent proud.
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