When a beloved family member or friend has passed, you want to give a speech that does them justice. At the same time, you don’t want to put an excessive amount of pressure on yourself during a time that is already emotionally challenging. By keeping the speech brief and heartfelt, you’ll likely strike the right tone. Here are five helpful tips for giving a eulogy.
Keep it Brief
Typically, funeral speeches should be kept to five minutes or less. For very close family members, the eulogy sometimes will be closer to ten minutes. It’s worth considering how close you were to the person being eulogized. If you weren’t exceptionally close, it’s probably best to keep it to the shorter end of the timeframe. You’ll want to also take into consideration how much time has been made available for eulogies, which will help you make sure that the length of your speech isn’t preventing someone else from getting the chance to speak at all.
Even if you’re unsure if you actually want to speak at the funeral, you’ll still want to bring along a draft of your eulogy. If you do decide to speak, there’s a good chance you’ll be feeling emotionally volatile, making it important that you have a reference to keep you on point. And, if you ultimately decide not to speak, you could consider giving the written copy to someone in the family.
Include a Personal Story
Your eulogy doesn’t have to be uniformly serious. A mix of sweetness, sadness, and humor sometimes makes for the most memorable funeral speeches. If you’re memorializing a colorful person, it’s OK to let their personality shine through by telling a meaningful personal story. Funny stories are generally encouraged, as long as they’re within good taste.
Practice the Speech
By practicing your speech in advance, it’ll be easier to get through it if you become overwhelmed with emotion during the service.
It’s OK to Show Emotion
It is nothing to be embarrassed about if you start to cry during your speech. Just take some deep breaths, try to gather yourself, and continue speaking when you’re ready.
If you need guidance with planning a service, it’ll be worthwhile to contact a reputable funeral director. For a funeral director in Marysville, Everett, Bothell, Camano Island, Stanwood, Tulalip, Lake Stevens, Arlington, and Monroe, WA, the trusted name is Funeral Alternatives of Snohomish County at 1-888-381-6993. Funeral Alternatives also provides funeral services in Seattle, Bellevue, and King County. Feel free to contact Funeral Alternatives with any questions that you have about planning a memorable service.