It is a gift to be asked to give the eulogy at a loved one’s funeral service, even though it may not always feel that way because of the pressure one feels to get it just right. As the person giving the eulogy, you are being placed in the position of rendering the decedent’s final words, and because of that, it is both an honor and a huge responsibility. It can also be an opportunity borrow some creative eulogy ideas and put a special spin on the proceedings.
Here are some tips you can use to ensure that you deliver a creative eulogy that properly honors the life of your lost loved one.
Make it Personal
When preparing the eulogy, be sure to include any quotes or sayings that your loved one was fond of repeating, or coined him or herself. If the decedent was known for having a sense of humor, be sure to tell a quick and humorous story about an event that happened in his or her life that was often repeated among family and friends.
If you get stuck for inspiration, or if you aren’t sure whether or not the saying or story would be situationally appropriate, be sure to get input from other family members. The goal is to keep it as personal as possible without minimizing or taking away from the solemnity of the event.
Learn from Others
If you are stuck, and simply can’t find any inspiration beyond the facts and figures of the decedent’s life, consider reviewing eulogies that became famous not because of who was giving them or who they were for, but because of how creative, expressive, inspiring, and memorable they were. A few notable eulogies were given by Mona Simpson for Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey for Rosa Parks, Eric Idle for George Harrison, and Bill Bradley for Dave DeBusschere.
Of course, not every eulogy is going to be relevant to your situation, but, by reviewing the well-written and deeply inspired eulogies of others, you will be able to identify parts of each that you can use to make the eulogy you’re preparing more creative and memorable.
Choosing to add a few lines from a relevant poem or song is a wonderful way to add a bit of creativity to the eulogy. If the decedent had a favorite book, poem, or song, adding a few lines from one or the other would also be a good way to keep the eulogy focused on the decedent.
If you are stuck, consider asking friends and family for suggestions of authors, poets, or musicians. They may know of one that the deceased was particularly fond of, and they would be glad to help.
As you prepare the eulogy, keep in mind that it is about the decedent, and nothing else. While it is important to add creative elements to the eulogy, don’t let your emphasis on creativity prevent you from focusing on the important aspects of the decedent’s life.
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