The decision to write and deliver the eulogy is an incredibly personal one that should be weighed carefully before accepting or denying the request. Many things must be considered, and in short order, because if you feel you will be unable to follow through the family will need time to find a replacement. Here are a few things to consider that should help you make the decision.
Should I Deliver the Eulogy
No one will blame you if you’re simply unable to write or deliver the eulogy because of your overwhelming grief. If, for example, you and the decedent had been best friends since grade school, and the loss was sudden, it would be challenging for even the most confident speaker to stay focused long enough to write a eulogy, much less maintain composure during its delivery. So, before you say yes or no to the request, take a little time to honestly assess whether or not it’s something you can actually do.
If, on the other hand, you and the deceased were not close, or didn’t get along well, that is something to consider as well. After all, a eulogy should ideally be written by someone close to the decedent and delivered with intimacy. So, if you’re too detached from the situation and don’t feel that you would be a good fit, it may be best to ask the family to find someone else. You will be appreciated for your honesty.
It Helps Heal
The cycle of grief is a process that everyone who suffers loss experiences. When you agree to give the eulogy, you are helping not only yourself through your grief, but everyone else in attendance as well. It can be cathartic to verbalize your memories and feelings about the person you lost, and when you share them with a group of people who are experiencing the same grief, you are helping them facilitate their healing.
The Right Thing to Do
If you are emotionally connected, but also emotionally capable of performing the eulogy, you should strongly consider doing it. So many of the mourners will wish they had the courage you do, and they will wish they had the ability to share. They simply won’t though, so when they hear you express what they want to say, they will be relieved to hear it coming from someone else, and they will be thankful that their words were given a voice after all.
You Will Never Regret It
The number one personal reason to give the eulogy is just this simple: you will never regret it. If you were close to the deceased, no matter how unprepared, emotional or nervous you may feel when standing up there, every time you look back at that moment, you will always be glad you agreed to do it.
When asked to deliver a eulogy, there is no right or wrong answer. If you genuinely aren’t up to it, for whatever reason, it’s okay. Simply say no, but say no quickly. The family will need time to find someone else. By all means, don’t let it discourage you from attending the service though. They will understand and appreciate the fact that you were aware of the significance of their request and respected it enough to be honest.
Remember: you have been asked to give the final word on someone’s life. It is not a decision that was entered into lightly by the family. You were chosen. It is a huge responsibility. Above all, remember that to be asked to deliver a eulogy is an honor and a gift. So, whether you agree to do it or not, don’t make the decision lightly.
Go To Eulogy Writing Overview