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Preparing Eulogies

Writing and delivering a eulogy is a noble gesture that is worthy of thought and effort. It is an opportunity to make a contribution to a funeral or memorial service -- a contribution that your friends and family will remember for a long time.

Writing a eulogy, a tribute, a letter, or keeping a journal represents another equally valuable opportunity for you. The ability to use the writing process can be a therapeutic tool to help you deal with your grief. The power of writing is undeniable and there is no better time than now for you to discover and take advantage of this.

What a eulogy should accomplish

There are two common misconceptions about the purposes of a eulogy. Some think it should be an objective summation of the deceased's life.  Others think it should speak for everyone who is present at the funeral or memorial service. Both of these assumptions are unrealistic.

A eulogy should be simple. It should convey the feelings and experiences of the person giving the eulogy. The most touching and meaningful eulogies are written from a subjective point of view and from the heart. So don't feel compelled to write your loved one's life story. Instead, tell your story.

Also understand that the burden of delivering a eulogy does not have to be yours completely. If you have the time, ask friends or relatives for their recollections and stories. In a eulogy, it is perfectly acceptable to say, for example, "I was talking to Uncle Lenny about Ron, and he reminded me of the time..."

Honesty is very important. In most cases, there will be a lot of positive qualities to talk about. Once in a while, however, there is are some negative traits that stand out. If that is the case, remember, you don't have to say everything. Just be honest about the positive qualities and everyone will appreciate the eulogy.  Or, perhaps a negative quality can be conveyed in the form of a humorous anecdote.

Remember, you do not have to write a perfect eulogy. Whatever you write and deliver will be appreciated by those attending the funeral or memorial service. If you are inclined to be a perfectionist, lower your expectations and just do what you can given the short time frame for preparation and your emotional state.

Tips for delivering a eulogy

If you decide to write a eulogy and deliver it, realize that it may be the most difficult speech you will ever make. But it may be the most rewarding. It is important to realize that people are not going to judge you. They will be very supportive. No matter what happens, it will be okay. If you break down in the middle of your speech, everyone will understand. Take a moment to compose yourself, and then continue. There is no reason to be embarrassed. Remember, giving a eulogy is a noble gesture that people will appreciate and admire.

If you can, make the eulogy easy to read. From a computer, use a large type size. If you are writing it by hand, print the final version in large letters and give the words room to breath by writing on every second or third line.

Before the service, consider getting a small cup of water. Keep it with you during the service. When you go to the podium to deliver the eulogy, take the water with you in case you need it. Sipping water before you start and during the speech if needed, will help you relax. If you are nervous before delivering the eulogy, breathe deeply and tell yourself that everything will be fine. It will be. Look around at your relatives and friends and realize that they are there to support you. Realize that it is acceptable to read the eulogy without making eye contact with the audience, if that would be easier for you. Take your time. Do the best you can. No one expects you to have the delivery of a great orator or the stage presence of an actor. Just be you.

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Dying is one of the few events in life that's certain to occur, yet one we rarely plan for. Should we spend more time preparing for a two week vacation than we do our last days on Earth?

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607-336-3993 Wilson Funeral Home
68 South Broad Street
Norwich, NY 13815
Email: wilsonfhny@gmail.com
607-336-3993 Wilson Funeral Home
68 South Broad Street
Norwich, NY 13815
Email: wilsonfhny@gmail.com
607-336-3993 Wilson Funeral Home
68 South Broad Street
Norwich, NY 13815
Email: wilsonfhny@gmail.com
607-336-3993 Wilson Funeral Home
68 South Broad Street
Norwich, NY 13815
Email: wilsonfhny@gmail.com
607-336-3993 Wilson Funeral Home
68 South Broad Street
Norwich, NY 13815
Email: wilsonfhny@gmail.com