When engaging with families regarding funeral or memorial services, a significant topic of discussion often revolves around the eulogy. Questions arise about its authorship—whether the family writes it, if the celebrant is responsible, or who will deliver it. These details are typically sorted out during consultations with the officiant.
But what exactly is a eulogy? According to the definition, a eulogy is a speech or written piece praising an individual, especially one who has recently passed away or retired, serving as a term of endearment. Funeral services commonly incorporate eulogies as an integral part of the proceedings (source: Wikipedia).
If one wonders where to start, my suggestion is to begin with the person's entry into the world. This approach resembles narrating the life story of a loved one, intertwining memories with factual details from birth to passing.
Crafting a eulogy is no easy task. It can be emotionally challenging, particularly when little information is available, and there are no surviving relatives to consult. Aging memories can also contribute to the difficulty, making some details hazy.
I strongly advocate for ensuring that families are well-informed about their loved ones' early lives—details often left unspoken in day-to-day conversations. Despite the challenges, this knowledge is crucial.
Consider the following elements when assembling a eulogy:
Birth details: date and place of birth, parents, and siblings.
Growing up years: schooling, childhood pastimes, hobbies, and sports played.
Personal achievements, awards, and occupations.
Courtship details, marriage particulars, and the births of children.
Significant family moments, holidays, and activities during the children's upbringing.
Social activities, favorite music, TV shows, movies, books, and hobbies.
Passions, values, and morals.
What made the person unique and how they'd like to be remembered fondly.
Descriptive words capturing their characteristics.
These considerations provide a comprehensive framework for constructing a meaningful and memorable eulogy.