We’ve probably all heard a eulogy delivered at a funeral service that stuck with us. Without a doubt, stories told about a loved one who has died often elicit incredibly strong emotions, particularly during a time of grief. Our caring team at Krause Funeral Homes knows how difficult it can be to write and deliver a eulogy when the pain of losing a loved one is still fresh. That’s why we want to offer this list of tips for the Milwaukee-area families we serve, to help them organize the kind of eulogy and meaningful tribute that will linger in hearts and minds.
Begin by letting your thoughts flow onto your paper (even if they flow in every direction!)
Whether you were asked to write the eulogy or volunteered for the task, it may seem daunting to complete while going through such an emotional experience. First things first: Don’t fuss over every word, don’t analyze what you should or shouldn’t say. Now is the time to brainstorm. Then step away, think about the direction you want to go, and refine your work. Remember that even professional writers frequently feel fear and desperation when putting together a first draft. Instead of staring at a blank sheet and worrying about the end result, silence your inner critic and express yourself.
Focus on stories
It’s one thing to hear Uncle Bob described as spontaneous, fun-loving, and crazy about the Packers. It’s another thing to listen to a story about the time Uncle Bob sat through a game at Lambeau in 0-degree weather wearing only his beloved green and yellow bib overalls. There’s no comparison: Sharing stories about a person’s life is always more interesting than reciting a list of facts or character traits. If you’re having trouble coming up with stories, ask family and friends for input. Even short, unpolished stories that reflect who the person was can strike an emotional chord.
Keep it positive
One of the challenges many people face when writing a eulogy is finding a way to describe someone who may have been difficult or led a troubled life. You don’t need to talk at length about this, since it’s likely most funeral attendees will be familiar with the person who died. Rather, try to communicate in a positive way to provide comfort and hope, despite the pain of the situation.
Have a manuscript on hand
No matter how many times you’ve practiced, no matter how “in control” you may feel, there are times when the emotion and stress of the moment might catch you off guard. Having a copy of the eulogy to refer to will dramatically decrease the pressure of the situation. It’s certainly understandable if you grow teary or stutter or lose your place. Take your time, take a deep breath, gather yourself, and keep going.
If you would like additional advice or help writing a eulogy or an obituary, please reach out to our team. We have the knowledge and experience to help you. And we care about you and want to help you. We realize writing a eulogy may seem overwhelming, especially while dealing with the numerous decisions and tasks that must be made in connection to the funeral service. At a time when grief can overwhelm, we are here to help you find the words to say.