The death of a loved one is a profoundly emotional time, especially when the person we lose is our father. Typically, a father represents the protective role in our lives, and when he is gone we are left grappling with how to cope with the loss, and our own sense of vulnerability. So, while it is a gift to be asked to deliver his eulogy, so you can openly share what he meant to you, it will also likely be the most difficult speech you will ever make and the question is very real, do I even know how to write a eulogy for a father? Take a few moments to review the following tips which are designed to help lend a little clarity to the writing process.
How to Write a Eulogy For a Father
What kind of personality did your father have? Was he funny and charming? Stoic and pensive? Was he always there to bail you out, or did he believe that there was more value in learning things the hard way? Whatever he was to you is what you should express. Don’t be afraid to share moments of joy and laughter, or stories of lessons learned. Keep his personality as your frame of reference during the writing process.
It will also be important that you mention the names of his siblings, parents, spouse(s), children, stepchildren, and grandchildren, especially those who you know will be in attendance. Also, a point often missed with adult funerals is their friendships. If he had a friend, or close group of friends, with whom he socialized regularly, don’t exclude them. They mattered a great deal to him, and vice versa, and they should be acknowledged.
The list may be long, and this is certainly not an obituary, but the funeral is about the living. Since he’s lived a long life and has touched so many people, recognize them. Use your best judgment, of course, but include the people it makes sense to include.
If you don’t know your father’s years of military service, where he was born and grew up, went to college, or where he worked, gather the information now. Of course it won’t be necessary to list them all, but it is important to acknowledge his major life stages and accomplishments.
Even though you’re the one delivering the eulogy, it is important to ask others to share their memories of your father. If you are uncomfortable reciting so many names, break it up by citing some names, but telling the story his best friend shared with you, and acknowledge the friend in that way.
Don’t forget to write down your father’s favorites: sports teams, bands, hobbies. Don’t mention them all, of course, but add a couple of them to the eulogy. This is a time of remembrance, so remind the mourners about your father’s passions.
Write it Down
You may think that you’ll remember it all because you knew your dad so well, but don’t make the mistake of not preparing anything in writing. You may become overwhelmed during the service, and it’s best to be prepared. Make sure that you have a friend or relative who also has a copy of your prepared eulogy. That way, if you become too emotional, and are unable to finish, he or she can take over for you.
For the same reason that you should write it down, you should also practice your father’s eulogy. It’s not necessary to memorize it word for word (in fact, writing an outline may even work better for you), but you should practice the flow of the eulogy until you feel comfortable and can get through it relatively easily.
When you stand to deliver the eulogy, open it up by giving a sincere acknowledgement to everyone who is there. It’s personal, and it lets them know that they matter to you, and, in turn, they mattered to your father.
Return to the Eulogy Writing Overview