Eulogy Example: How to Write a Eulogy

A eulogy is a heartfelt tribute given at a funeral to honor someone who has passed away. Writing a eulogy can be daunting as it involves reflecting on and articulating the significance of a person's life and the emptiness they leave behind. This speech serves not only as a farewell to the deceased but as a comfort to the audience by sharing memories, stories, and the essence of who they were. It's a time to convey their impact on their family, friends, and community, allowing everyone to feel a collective sense of remembrance and closure.

When you set out to write a eulogy, you aim to create a sincere and personal reflection that resonates with others. Finding an example eulogy or a template can be incredibly helpful if you're looking for guidance to start writing or need inspiration to polish your speech. These resources provide a structure for your tribute, allowing you to weave personal anecdotes and memories into a meaningful narrative that captures the spirit of the loved one you're honoring.

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Understanding the Purpose of a Eulogy

A eulogy is a heartfelt tribute to a loved one, crafted to honor their legacy and express the profound impact they've had. It's an essential aspect of a memorial service, allowing you to share your love and grief.

A eulogy is a respectful celebration of the deceased's life. Your speech will highlight the person's unique qualities, the relationships they nurtured, and the legacy they leave behind. This tribute encapsulates the person's essence, ensuring that their memory continues to live on in the hearts of attendees.
Woman giving a eulogy at a funeral

Setting the Tone

The tone of your eulogy can vary from solemn reverence to light-hearted remembrance. You set the emotional atmosphere for the memorial service. Your voice can offer comfort, sharing stories filled with love and admiration that resonate with the grieving.

Role in the Grieving Process

Eulogies play a critical role in the grieving process by providing a structured opportunity for public expression of grief. Your words help others remember, cry, and laugh, assisting in the journey through loss. By sharing your emotions, you're inviting others to process their feelings of grief within the supportive setting of the memorial service.

Preparation Before Writing

Before you begin writing a eulogy, gathering content, choosing a theme, and reflecting on memories is important. This ensures that your speech honors the deceased in a personal, meaningful way.

Gathering Content

Start by collecting thoughts, stories, and anecdotes from the departed's family and friends. Create a list or a digital folder where you can compile these insights, as they will provide a wealth of material for your eulogy.

Record the deceased's accomplishments and note any significant contributions they made to their community or field. If applicable, include their impact on family members, especially children. Here are some headings to help organize your content:
  • Friends' Anecdotes
  • Family Stories
  • Personal Accomplishments
  • Community Contributions
Talk to friends and family to gather content for your eulogy

Choosing the Theme

Your eulogy should have a coherent theme that connects the different stories and memories into one unified narrative. This theme might stem from the deceased's personal qualities, such as their generosity or sense of humor, or a life motto they lived by, e.g., "Always give more than you take.". Decide what aspect of their personality or life story you want to highlight.

Reflecting on Memories

Take some time for personal reflection. Consider how the deceased has touched your life and the lives of others. Think about the moments you shared, their quirks, and the laughs you had together.

These memories form the emotional core of your eulogy and can help you convey the essence of who they were. Here are three headings to help with noting down your thoughts:
  1. Shared Experiences
  2. Personal Impact
  3. Endearing Habits

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Structuring Your Eulogy Template

Creating a memorable eulogy involves crafting a well-structured template that captures the essence of the loved one you're honoring. It should start strongly, tell their story with heart, and leave listeners with a sense of comfort and closure.

Beginning with Impact

Introduction: Your eulogy should begin with a powerful introduction that grabs attention and sets a respectful tone. Consider opening with a meaningful quote to the deceased or one that encapsulates their life philosophy. You could also start with a brief anecdote that vividly brings their character to life for attendees.

Weaving a Narrative

As you move into the main body of your eulogy, weave together a narrative that includes personal stories and favorite memories. This section is about painting a picture of the person's life through words, so it's a great place to share moments that illustrate their values, humor, and achievements. Use short, impactful anecdotes to add depth and personality to your speech.

Concluding on a Positive Note

Conclusion: Ending your eulogy on a positive note is key to providing comfort. You can share a hopeful quote, reflect on lessons learned from the deceased, or express a heartfelt farewell that acknowledges their lasting impact. It should be uplifting, leaving the audience with a feeling of gratitude for having known the person.
End your eulogy on a positive note

Writing Techniques

When crafting a eulogy, how you convey your thoughts is as significant as what you say. Using different writing techniques can help you create a heartfelt and memorable homage to your loved one.

Incorporating Quotes and Poems

Quotes and poems can be powerful tools for expressing sentiments that are hard to put into words. Start by selecting a quote or poem that resonates with the traits of your loved one or the feelings you wish to convey. When integrating them into your eulogy, ensure they blend seamlessly with your own narrative to maintain a cohesive tone.

Sharing Personal Stories

Sharing personal stories helps paint a vivid portrait of the deceased. Focus on anecdotes that highlight significant traits or memories that exemplify their spirit. Balance the emotions these stories evoke by being respectful and genuine. This will allow listeners to connect with your words on a deeper level.

Balancing Emotions with Humor

Humor, when used appropriately, can provide comfort and relief during a somber occasion. It's a way to honor your loved one's lighter side and share joy amid grief. When sprinkling humor into your eulogy, be mindful of the setting and the audience, ensuring your words are tasteful and reflect the departed's personality.
Use humor in your eulogy to share joy amid grief

Practical Tips for Writing

Writing a eulogy can be a deeply personal and touching process. Careful writing, dedicated practice, and an open reception to feedback are essential to creating a memorable homage.

Editing and Refinement

After you've poured your thoughts and emotions onto paper, the next critical step is to edit and refine your words. Having a clear plan for your eulogy is important, ensuring it has a beginning, middle, and end. Don’t be afraid to make cuts or adjustments to keep your writing concise and impactful. Aim for a eulogy length that respects the occasion, usually around 5-10 minutes when spoken.

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Practicing Delivery

Practice, practice, practice. Your words will have a greater impact if delivered with confidence and composure. Practice aloud to gauge the flow and timing of your speech. This will also help manage any emotions that may surface during the actual delivery. Consider your body language as well. Eye contact and a steady voice can enhance your connection with your audience.

Seeking Feedback

Don't hesitate to seek feedback from trusted friends or family members. They can provide insights on the style and tone of your eulogy and share their own memories that may enrich the tribute. Remember, feedback is not just about making corrections, but about perfecting the homage to your loved one.

Delivering Your Eulogy

Delivering your eulogy
Writing a eulogy can be a profoundly personal experience, but presenting it to an audience is where your words have their greatest effect. Your delivery communicates not just the content but also the emotional connection and love you had for the departed.

Overcoming Nervousness

Feeling nervous is natural when giving a eulogy, as it's a significant moment to honor a loved one in front of an audience. To manage your nerves, remember to:
  • Practice your speech multiple times before the actual event.
  • Take deep breaths before you start speaking to calm your mind.
  • Focus on speaking slowly and clearly for your audience to understand and connect with your words.

Connecting with the Audience

Your audience is there to honor the deceased and they're ready to connect with you through your shared memories and affection. Enhance that connection by:
  • Making eye contact with different people in the audience, where appropriate.
  • Encouraging a sense of unity by referencing shared experiences or qualities of the loved one that everyone can relate to.

Speaking from the Heart

The essence of a powerful eulogy is the genuineness of your words. Speaking from the heart means:
  • Being sincere and allowing the natural emotion of your love and respect for the departed to guide your delivery.
  • Avoiding overly complex or formal language to maintain the directness and intimacy of your message.

Personalizing the Eulogy

Woman reading a personalized eulogy
Crafting a personalized eulogy means highlighting the unique essence of your loved one's life. You should include their legacy, the relationships they cherished, and the traits that made them unforgettable.

Honoring the Deceased's Legacy

Reflect on the accomplishments and contributions of your loved one that have left a lasting impact. Whether it’s their professional successes or the difference they made in their community, share specific examples that embody their legacy. If they founded a local charity or were known for their volunteer work, these are memorable details that resonate.

Celebrating Life and Relationships

Your eulogy should celebrate not just who the person was, but also how they connected with others. Recollect stories about their relationships that show the depth and warmth of their bonds. Perhaps illustrate this with a touching anecdote, like the weekly dinners they hosted or the summer road trips that brought joy to friends and family.

Sharing Unique Characteristics

Everyone has traits that make them distinctive, and your eulogy is the perfect opportunity to showcase these. Talk about their character and personality traits with fondness, whether it’s their infectious laugh, their passion for gardening, or the way they always remembered birthdays. These small details paint a vivid picture of who they were.

Tips and a Free Eulogy Example

by Pastor Cathy

Having a eulogy example or a eulogy template is helpful when preparing to give a eulogy at the funeral service of your loved one. I’ve invited Pastor Cathy, who’s prepared and delivered over 50 eulogies in her role as a funeral service minister, to share her top tips, a eulogy example and her tried and tested Eulogy Template, which you can download for free. 

What is a eulogy and how is it different to an obituary?

A eulogy is a speech summing up someone’s life, which is spoken out during a funeral or memorial service. It’s a tribute to the person who’s passed away and can include their key life events, memorable character traits and what they meant to others. An obituary is a written report online or in a newspaper that announces the death of a loved one and gives a short description of their life. It can also form part of a funeral program alongside details of the service.

Who can deliver a eulogy, and can it be more than one person?

Anyone can give a eulogy but it’s usually a family member, friend or minister who’s leading the funeral service. If asking a pastor or celebrant to deliver part of the eulogy, it’s important to make it clear who’s going to say what, so that no details are missed out.

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4 Page Funeral Programs

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8 Page Funeral Programs 


What makes a good eulogy?

Be truthful so those listening to the eulogy recognise the person they knew and loved. Don’t be afraid to say what they were really like, even including the things they disliked. Include some humour, such as funny memories of holidays shared. Gathering stories and memories from other people will make this process easier. You could ask each family member to write down a special memory and share it with you.

What advice would you give to someone preparing to give a eulogy?

The thought of preparing a eulogy, especially if you were very close to the deceased, can be daunting, but the process of writing a eulogy can be a healing process as you recall the special memories of your loved one. On a practical note, type out the eulogy rather than writing it by hand so it’s easy for you to read, and anyone else in case someone needs to step in and take over. Also, it’s common for people delivering eulogies to read too quickly so you could put dashes or extra spaces between sentences to make you pause and read slower.

What’s the best way to start a eulogy?

I recommend starting with the person’s full name and when they were born.

Is it ok to include humor?

If married, include how they met as this is often humorous. People are interested in this and including some humor in the eulogy can help with the healing process.

What about including quotes, poems or songs?

If including a quote, poem or song, think about how it would leave people feeling. For example, consider sharing something more upbeat at the beginning of the eulogy and something more sombre at the end as you’re saying goodbye.

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12 Page Funeral Programs

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 11x17 inch Funeral Programs


Is there anything you wouldn’t include in a eulogy?

A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything the family doesn’t want included. Also, don’t say anything disrespectful, or negative about the person.

How long should a eulogy be?

Aim to keep to a maximum of 10 mins, which is about 1000 words, but a shorter 5 minute eulogy is also fine. 

What’s the best way to end a eulogy?

I always end with the date they passed and how, for example, in their own home surrounded by family. You could also conclude by using three or four words to express what they were like, for example, they were a kind, compassionate, thoughtful, and loving person who will be sadly missed by all those who knew and loved them.

Do you have any tips for staying composed when delivering an emotional eulogy?

Write it down and practice beforehand by reading it out loud while timing yourself. Type and print the eulogy out so someone can read it in case you get too emotional. When delivering it, breathing slowly and speaking slowly will help you stay composed.

Would you be happy to share one of the eulogies you gave on behalf of a family?

Sure, here’s an example of a eulogy I gave (with the name changed). You could use it as an example to follow when preparing a Eulogy for your loved one:


Coming here today I know you will all have your own very special thoughts and memories of Jane that you treasure. - -

I would like to share some of Jane’s families

memories with you now.  - -

Jane was born in Manchester to her parents Lilly and Douglas -

on the December Sixth, Nineteen Thirty Three.  -

One of five children, -

Jane had one brother and three sisters, -

Jane was the fourth in the family.  - -

            As a child Jane was evacuated during the war to Wales. - -

Jane met her husband John when they worked together       

at Stanley James factory in Oldham. - -

They married not long after they met. -

Jane was just eighteen years old, -

and had six children –

Douglas, - David, - Catherine, - Charlotte, - Matthew and Donald. - -

Jane also had lots of grandchildren, - great grandchildren

            and two great, - great, - grandchild. - -

Jane loved them all dearly, -

her face used to light up when she saw them, -

and I am told they all loved going to see her, -

and enjoyed all of the cakes, ice cream and chocolates –

lots - - and lots! that she used to give them. - -


Jane enjoyed gardening, - she had a lovely garden, -

            and used to give her family gardening advice. - -

She liked collecting Tobey jugs, - reading, -

puzzle books, - gardening, - watching the soaps

and gardening programmes. - -

She also enjoyed eating jelly sweets, -

Cadburys cream eggs - sucking out the cream, - cheese , -

and bags of chocolates, -

that she said she didn’t eat but used to disappear! - -


And holidays, - Jane loved going on holiday, -

going to Blackpool and The Peak District, -

with car loads of family. - -

Jane also went on holiday to Greece with her family

she enjoyed it, - and loved flying. - -

            Jane’s last few holidays were nearer to home, -

Jane loved her holidays but was just as happy

            to sit in the garden when the sun was shining.

Jane was very family orientated, -

her family tell me ‘she was always there.’ - -                                                      

To them - she was ‘the best mum in the world,’ - -

and ‘the most patient person.’ - -


She was also kind, - placid, - funny, - and firm but fair. -

A shy, - private, - person who never liked a fuss. - -

** PAUSE **

Jane passed away at the age of seventy eight –

at home as she had wanted, with her family all around her.


A lovely lady with a beautiful heart, - kind soul,

‘the best mum, - sister and granny in the world.’ - - - 

Who will be very sadly missed –

and fondly remembered, -

by all those who knew and loved her.


Thank you, Cathy, for sharing your tips and example eulogy. If you’d like a eulogy template to follow, with headings and space to write your own eulogy, you can download Cathy’s free Eulogy Template here.

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