The great writer Flannery O’Connor said, “A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way.” A eulogy — a remembrance speech at a funeral — often includes stories about the departed loved one. Yet how many of us know the whole story and unique path of even those closest to us?
It’s not egotistical to write your eulogy. Many funeral homes encourage people to think about their favorite memory or story they would like to share at their memorial service. Writing a eulogy is an essential step in funeral planning.
Here are a few reasons why writing your story is a beautiful gift to your loved ones after you’re gone.
Only You Know Who and What Matters Most
Have you attended a funeral or memorial and heard a eulogy that was so generic or vague that it could have applied to anyone? A eulogy should honor the specific characteristics, passions, accomplishments, and quirks of a loved one. Great eulogies often include stories. By writing your own, the most important people and events in your life will be given the proper attention they deserve.
Your Eulogy Is Your Voice
Everyone has a voice that is not just your physical voice’s cadence, volume, or accent. It is your unique way of communicating with words. When you write your eulogy, you give your loved ones a final message in your particular style. A self-written funeral speech is a particularly moving gift for people who unexpectedly lost a loved one.
Your Story Is Worthy of an Audience
Writing your story or eulogy is a chance for people to know about your triumphs, challenges, and everything that makes you unique. Your story should be heard by those you love and those that loved you.
Before You Start Writing
How do you begin writing your story? Eulogies are similar to a highlight reel. They should capture “the best of” your life without making you sound like a saint…because no one is.
While eulogies are often in the third person point of view (“he,” “she,” “they”), you might want to write it from a first-person perspective (“I”).
Eulogies are usually ten minutes or shorter. Once you have a rough draft of your life story, you should read it aloud for length and clarity.
Remember your audience. Think about the message you want to give them. Is it to live boldly and embrace change? To serve others and live within specific religious or spiritual guidelines?
Here are some tips to help you get started.
Eulogy Examples: Helpful Hints
Your opening line should set the theme.
- “The greatest advice I can give is to approach every challenge as an opportunity for growth.”
- “My life’s journey was made richer by the love of my family and friends.”
- “I learned more from hardships that gratitude is the most meaningful prayer of all.”
Use quotes or lines from famous funeral speeches for inspiration.
- “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
- “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” (Abraham Lincoln)
- “Life is a succession of lessons that must be lived to be understood.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Highlight meaningful times and relationships that shaped your life.
- When you met your spouse or partner
- Your children’s birth or adoption
- When you reach a life milestone
Your Eulogy and Memorial Service
Writing your eulogy is part of how you want to be remembered. Your ShareLife funeral home is known for creating one-of-a-kind memorial services. Let a family care advisor show you all the options for an immersive life celebration that captures your life and legacy.
Preplanning allows you to choose your permanent memorialization options for burial or cremation. And when you plan ahead, you pay today’s prices, protecting your loved ones from making hasty and expensive decisions when the time comes.
Call or go online with your local ShareLife funeral home to learn more about preplanning.