The loss of someone close to us is devastating, and if that person is a brother then it can hit especially hard. If you have lost your brother and have been asked to deliver the eulogy, it would be a wonderful gift for not only your brother’s memory, but for yourself, because it is a decision you will never regret. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing a eulogy for a brother so you can be sure that you honor his memory in the best way possible.
Writing a Eulogy for a Brother
No matter what it is you decide to say in the eulogy, the very first thing you should say is your brother’s name. The eulogy and the service are about your brother, so don’t begin by saying “I loved my brother”. Instead, say “Steve was my brother”. This keeps the focus on him, and not you.
Next, you should summarize your relationship with your brother in a couple of sentences. For example, mention how he teased you all through childhood but was your biggest supporter in adulthood. Keep in mind, however, that, while it is important to touch on your relationship with your brother, that portion of the eulogy should be kept short.
The family member’s names should be listed near the beginning as well. The names that should be given include the parents, his spouse(s), his children and stepchildren, and anyone else you choose to include. If your brother had best friends with whom he was very close (like brothers), you may want to mention their names, too. It’s a step that is sometimes missed, but is very important.
If you were especially close to your brother while growing up, include a specific memory of the two of you that is both heartwarming and speaks to the values that your brother held onto throughout his life. Did he find a wallet and return it? Was he particularly helpful with the house or yard work? Next, parallel it to a story from his adulthood that mirrors the same values. Did he always work overtime so he could provide a better life for his family? Did he volunteer as his daughter’s softball coach in order to bond with her? Honoring your brother’s positive traits through the retelling of a story will go a long way in helping explain the kind of man he was to you and the world as a whole.
Also, ask family members to share their memories of your brother and include a synopsis of one or two of them in the eulogy. You won’t include them all, but it’s important that those who are not able to speak have a voice as well.
The eulogy is certainly not an obituary, but it is important to touch on your brother’s life accomplishments, including his college, fraternity, military, marriage(s), and career milestones. Don’t forget to mention his hobbies or accomplishments that may not be so well-known (chess champion, deep sea diver, employee of the year award).
Write it and Practice It
It is not necessary to write out the obituary word for word, but you should have a complete outline at least. As well as you knew your brother, you will more than likely be emotional and/or nervous when delivering the eulogy. To best honor his memory, write down what you are going to say in the order in which you are going to say it, and then practice it until you are comfortable with its flow.
As you prepare to deliver the eulogy, make sure that you have tissue and water with you. Also be sure that you have someone sitting to the side who is prepared to take over for you in case you simply can’t complete the delivery. While this may not seem necessary, the emotions of the moment, and the emotions of the people in the room with you, will be incredibly powerful. Honor your brother by making sure you have a backup available.
When you finally deliver the eulogy, keep in mind that everyone in the room with you is there to support you. You have no detractors, only people who wish you the best and want to see you do well.
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