When called on to write and deliver a speech, the ending can be the most difficult section to write. This can be especially true of a eulogy. Since it is meant to represent the final words of the deceased, a eulogy, particular the ending, is most likely the most important and emotional speech you will ever deliver. While it isn’t possible to sum up someone’s life in one or two sentences, it is possible to conclude the eulogy with sincerity and the right amount of reverence for the deceased. Here we discuss ideas for how to end a eulogy speech so that you can honor both the decedent and the occasion.
How to End a Eulogy Speech
The most traditional way to conclude a speech is to summarize the points made throughout it. The same tactic works well with a eulogy. By offering a summary of the spirit of the decedent and emphasizing the impact he or she had on others, your eulogy will end on an emotional, uplifting note.
The immediate family members of the deceased (spouse, children, parents) should be named and recognized early on in the eulogy. However, if you haven’t yet acknowledged them by name, do it at the end. Make sure you add a call to action as well, reminding mourners to rally around the family and support them.
A eulogy is meant to provide a sense of comfort and closure for mourners, so adding an inspirational quote at the end can be a powerful way to provide that to those in attendance. Be careful when choosing the quote though. If you decide to recite a scripture, check with the family beforehand to make sure that what you plan to use won’t contradict their values or beliefs. If the family objects to your selection then, instead of a scripture, a line or two from a poem, or a quote from an inspirational figure, would be a better choice.
If the eulogy is running a bit long, a simple ending can often be the best ending. The most effective way to accomplish that is to include a final thought, while mentioning the deceased by name. For example, it’s appropriate to end the eulogy by saying “We will miss you, Mary. Rest in peace.”
A combination of two or more of the above tips can be used to end a eulogy that you feel may not be long enough. A quick acknowledgement of the family and call to support them, combined with a summary of the person’s spirit and a brief quote, work well together, and would be an appropriate, intimate and personal way to end a eulogy.
It is both an honor and an emotional challenge to be asked to write and deliver a eulogy. After all, you are being asked to represent the decedent and his or her family. The impact you have on those in attendance will set the tone for the service, so, as you prepare your remarks, focus on the positive points of the person’s life and keep the tone inspirational, from beginning to end.
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