This step is about assembling all the "building blocks", or pieces of information about the deceased, together in an organized way in order to create a well-written eulogy speech.
A eulogy is a funeral speech, and like all speeches, it has three parts:- a beginning, a middle and an end. All good speeches follow this format.
The aim now is to write out the speech word for word, as you would read it out at the funeral or service.
Do not attempt to "wing it" from memory. It must be written down. This video explains why this is necessary.
It also explains how to resolve differences in views of the deceased from different family members. One may have only good things to say about the deceased, whilst another may not. This video explains some of the ways to resolve this.
A guiding principle in writing the eulogy is to remember what exactly the word itself, a "eulogy", is and how it's defined.
The word "eulogy" means "good words" in Greek. And whilst the deceased may have caused some of our pain when they were alive (hopefully only a small minority of readers), we want to go beyond that to find those "good words". Hint at the bad times, if you must, but dwell on the good points. After all, it's a final send-off. Whatever differences you had in life, now is the time to transcend them. If you have to mention the deceased's faults, as some family members may insist, this video explains ways of gently and tactfully doing this.
Another important function of the eulogy is to comfort the grieving.
This video then shows how we assemble and edit the pieces of information we have, and to connect them together in a meaningful way. After this is done, opening phrases are added to the start, and closing phrases are added to the end.
This step of this eulogy video tutorial series is about the material that will be in your funeral speech. Rather than trying to assembling the eulogy speech "finished" right from the start, in one go, we take time instead to gather raw information.
What is the raw information, or "building blocks"? It can be anything. Really, anything. For example, a memory from the past,
your feelings for the person, the quality of the person, a quote the person liked to repeat, your experiences growing up, what the person was like in their prime, the people the person loved, a
memento, a funny experience involving the person, how the person made a difference in people's lives, what the person said that made a difference to you, and so on.
We want to write all these down, regardless of the order in which they'll be placed in the final speech. Or whether we think we can use the material or not. We want to collect as many of these
points as possible. Write it down. You may remember it now, but may soon forget, and know you've forgotten something important. Ask me how I know!
This step of the video series involves just gathering all the facts, feelings, memories etc in the form of lots of notes. The next step in this video series is the arranging of this information into a proper funeral speech, but that's not the goal in this step.
It will help if we spend some time in quiet contemplation about the deceased. Find a place where you won't be disturbed. Then close your eyes, relax, and bring yourself back to an earlier time, when the person was alive. Commune with the memories of the past. Spend quiet time in contemplation. Then, as the ideas come to you for the funeral speech, write it all down.
An important point is to talk to family members, or close friends, about their memories. Involve them in the process. This will enrich the material with which you have to work with. Get on the phone and talk, or better still, have a face to face meeting.
By the end of this process you should have gathered a lot of material. The next step of this video series is crafting this material into a good funeral speech.
There are two basic kinds of eulogy - a biographical and a personal view. You can have one or the other, or a combination. A biographical eulogy just speaks to the facts of the person's life. Where they were born, where they lived, where they worked, who they were married to, who were their children etc. I feel the biographical eulogy may be a little outdated now because it does not speak to feelings.
The other type of eulogy, which is more common, is the personal view eulogy. Here we speak about our feelings for the person, tell our memories of them and how they affected our lives. In other words, it's based on our feelings and our personal views. So it's not "objective", but then, a eulogy need not be objective. Later in this video series, we'll explore the meaning of the word "eulogy", and the purpose of it. Let's agree to throw strict objectivity out the window!
This video gives you polar examples of these two types of eulogies or funeral speeches. The second example is a eulogy for a father. I think most of us would prefer the second example to the first.
Most modern eulogies nowadays are a combination of the two, leaning towards the personal view.
The task of delivering a eulogy can be shared between two or more family members.
Also, if you're the only one delivering the eulogy, you can ask other family members for content to put into your eulogy. This process can be quite informative to you, and healing. Things you never knew about them while they were alive.
At some point in our lives, we may be called, perhaps unexpectedly, to give a eulogy for a close family member. Should it fall upon your shoulders, this six-part video series was created for you. In your time of grief and need, I hope this video series helps.
This first video of the series focuses on you. The deliverer of the eulogy. The less you are anxious or worried, the better the eulogy you can deliver. It's very understandable that you may be in a place of turmoil at the moment, having lost a loved one. So it's important to center yourself and find a place of peace and calm within, or try your best to. In looking after yourself, you will be better able to think, and craft the funeral or memorial speech, and to deliver it.