If you’ve been asked to give a eulogy at a Jacksonville, FL funeral home, it means that you were close enough to the deceased to be able to pay tribute to them and honor their memory, through stories, humor, and love.
Many people feel overwhelmed when asked to give a eulogy because they’re not career writers or speakers. Additionally, they’re dealing with grief and mourning as well, so it’s hard to back up and be objective and unemotional about the story of a life loved and lost. And, finally, they don’t want to disappoint or embarrass the deceased’s family by messing up.
So if this is how you’re feeling, keep reading. It’s important to remember that a eulogy is less about the person giving it and how well they get through it, than it is about being thoughtful, genuine, and respectful in paying tribute to somebody who was loved. The eulogy should tell stories about how that person made in a difference in the world while they were in. It should highlight their milestones, their accomplishments, and their relationships, among which yours was one.
There are several elements that should be included in a eulogy.
The first element should shine the light on the major intersections in the deceased’s journey through life. These include birth, education, career, and relationships, including marriage, children, and your own.
The second element of a eulogy should focus on the attributes of the deceased. This your opportunity to give an inside look into who the deceased was as a person (for example, gentle, humorous, thoughtful, kind, honest, and generous, to name a few).
The last element of a eulogy should provide good memories of the deceased. These are for the family and will provide great comfort, and maybe even some laughter and happiness, for them in the midst of grieving their loss.
Many times, eulogies focus on one thing that the deceased was known for. If the deceased loved sports or music, for example, the elements of the eulogy will show how those were integral parts of the deceased’s life. Eulogies like this are usually easier to prepare and give than eulogies that try to cover every aspect of someone’s life.
Don’t ad lib the eulogy. Take the time to write it out. Write a draft, then sleep on it and go back and edit it. Ask someone else to read it – maybe even out loud– and give you feedback on what changes might need to be made. Sometimes hearing something you wrote read out loud by someone else is a good way to find places that can be fine-tuned.
Once you’ve finalized the eulogy, have someone edit it for grammar, spelling, and punctuation, so that you don’t have awkward stops in giving the eulogy because of typos, run-on sentences, or incomplete thoughts.
Take time to practice giving the eulogy. Eulogies should be no longer than 10-15 minutes, so by practicing, you can make sure you stay within that timeframe. Practicing can also make you less nervous about speaking in public. You can either practice the eulogy in front of a mirror or you can give it with your family as the audience.
Now you’re prepared to deliver a thoughtful and memorable eulogy to the deceased that will provide the family and everyone else gathered with comfort and encouragement. Speaking slowly helps if you’re worried about keeping your composure while giving the eulogy. This will make the emotional moments, which happen when we remember someone we love, easier to get through.
If you’d like more ideas for giving eulogies at a funeral home in Jacksonville, FL, our compassionate and experienced staff at Naugle Funeral Home & Cremation Services can help. You can come to our funeral home at 808 Margaret St, Jacksonville, FL 32204, or you can contact us today at (904) 683-9288.