Getting ready to write a eulogy?
Want to write the perfect eulogy?
Looking for examples of amazing eulogies?
Are you delivering a eulogy for a close friend or loved one? It’s a tremendous honor—that can also be a daunting task. At Lastly.com, we’re here to support you in the process. This article contains tips for good eulogy writing based on some amazing sample eulogies.
Typically, very close family members or friends are asked to perform a eulogy speech. It helps if you were close to the deceased person and knew them well. And if you knew them a long time, then you’ll be able to speak about many aspects and time periods during his/her life while delivering a heartfelt eulogy.
Surprise! You may not be the only person giving a eulogy. Sometimes more than one person may be speaking about the deceased. So, you may want to check in advance to see who else might be there to pay tribute. In this case, you may want to speak to how you knew the deceased and what you knew about them. By telling your stories about your own experience with the deceased, you can provide additional insight into their life that others may not have known.
How to Write a Successful Eulogy
The most successful eulogies are written and read from the heart. It’s easy to be generic, but it’s more touching to make this dedication personal. The best eulogies provide a glimpse into the person’s life, describe their character with a real-life example or two, and showcase their personality through instances of what they said and did.
When considering the tone of the eulogy, you don’t have to be formal. In fact, it probably works better to write a eulogy—and deliver a eulogy—as if you are having a conversation with a close friend. It may be a serious, mournful time filled with grief, but you don’t have to be serious in tone. In fact, many funeral service or memorial service audience members will welcome an opportunity to laugh. Delivering a funny eulogy can be the perfect way to provide mourners with a bit of relief. And, it can help some overcome the challenge of public speaking.
Laughing promotes health emotions that can provide both physical and mental benefits to those listening. And if the deceased was a humorous person, you’ll definitely want to incorporate their brand of humor into your writing. It’s your chance to let their personality shine through.
If in doubt, read some articles about funeral etiquette in advance.
How to Use Eulogy Examples When Writing a Eulogy
When you’re not sure where to begin writing eulogies—whether it’s your own or someone else’s—reading a few sample eulogies or a eulogy template can be helpful. Sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start, what to say or the best way to say it. It’s also very easy to search for famous eulogies online.
Sample eulogies and eulogy templates are a great way to get comfortable in writing a eulogy for your loved one. By reading other eulogies for people you have no emotional connection to, you can grab some ideas as a model for your funeral speech. Just a few words can provide a creative spark to get you on the path to writing a memorable eulogy.
Enjoy these great eulogy samples as you prepare to write your eulogy.
A Eulogy from a Wife to Her Husband
In this heartfelt and loving eulogy, we see a wife’s devotion to her husband. Her remarks are personal to her, while at the same time uncovering the core of his character… the things he did as a normal course of living and when no one was looking. She pays tribute to him in an honorable and endearing way.
Perhaps one of the best parts of this eulogy is the ending. She leaves the audience with a few memorable words that they can apply to their own lives. She takes a wonderful phrase of encouragement that he often said to her while living and shows how the same wise words still apply to him even in death. She found a wonderful way to paint a picture of her husband’s lasting impact on her life and on those around him.
My husband was such a wonderful man. I’m not sure I can really express just how much I will miss him.
Not only was he a wonderful husband, but a wonderful father, grandfather, best friend, colleague … and so much more.
Paul’s ability to make everyone feel comfortable, secure and loved were his greatest strengths.
It has been nearly 40 years since we were first married, and I look back over those years with so much happiness.
I remember the first time I saw him—I looked over the room at the dance hall on a Saturday night and saw this handsome young man.
I was too shy initially to even hold his eye contact, but I did look out for him every Saturday night. Eventually he introduced himself to me; we danced, we laughed, and we fell in love.
Paul was always such a gentleman—well-mannered and polite, but always quick with a witty remark.
His joviality and good nature attracted people the moment he walked in the room, and no one could forget his raucous and contagious laugh.
Born and bred in Brisbane, Paul always had a passion for the ocean.
In our early life together, we would jump in the caravan and spend weekends on the coast together.
I remember the first fish he caught. Paul had been out all day after promising that he would bring home dinner that night.
It was getting late and I started to worry, but the look on his face when he marched back and presented the catch of the day was priceless.
His face was glowing, and he was grinning from ear to ear, despite the fact that it was dark, and he was shivering with cold.
When we had each of our children—Jesse, Markus and James—he was delighted.
Paul was a wonderful father to them and I would watch him take them to Sunday school and show them off to all the other parents.
As they became teenagers, I saw how they always went to him for advice—even if they did run off and do the opposite, as teenagers do.
He was always there to pick up the pieces and sort things out. They respected and loved him deeply.
Paul was a hard-working and giving man. Not only was he committed to his job—working long hours that would drive me insane—he was also committed to giving back to the community.
When Paul wasn’t at work—or being taxi driver for the kids—he would be attending Lions Club or Rotary meetings or fundraising activities.
He always encouraged us to be involved in life—he bought out the best in us all.
He would always say, ‘You can’t rest on your laurels, Margaret. You must keep forging ahead and make the best of everything.”
He was my soulmate and my inspiration—my steadfast rock that helped me through thick and thin.
Paul supported and loved us all, and he was always there to help navigate through life’s challenges.
Paul may be in heaven now, but I know he is looking down at us with a big smile on his face saying, “Forge ahead—make the best of life—and I’ll see you soon. We have work to do up here, too.”
Goodbye, my dear, sweet husband, and God bless.
A Eulogy from a Daughter to Her Father
This eulogy does a great job of paying tribute to the deceased and covering a lifetime in just a few pages. She recalls several childhood memories that most people can identify with themselves. And she describes how her father made an impact in her life, both as a child and as an adult. Through her telling, we find out what really mattered to her father and what really mattered to her.
Dad was the light of my life.
Even as a little girl, I remember him making me laugh so much I would nearly cry. He had a wicked sense of humour that rubbed off on anyone that was near him.
No one was upset around Dad for too long—although he did have his serious side, too, of course.
Dad grew up in the country, on a dairy farm a few hours from Melbourne called Toora and was surrounded by sheep, farm animals and beautiful landscape.
But his love for the written word drew him to the ‘big smoke’ to study literature at Trinity College in Melbourne.
He said his passion came from his grandfather who used read endlessly to him.
Stories that even as an adult he loved dearly and would read to us when we were kids. His favourites were Moby Dick and Tom Sawyer.
My parents met at Trinity College and after graduating, decided to get married.
Two years later I was born, followed by my brother Charlie a year after that.
Dad was always so caring and giving to us children. Even when we ran in and out of his office a million times interrupting his writing, Dad never got too angry.
He would usher us away with suggestions of how we could occupy ourselves—always with creative and new ideas.
Dad was also inspirational to us, with his passion for music. He loved most types, but his favourite was Neil Diamond.
On Sunday afternoons, we would gather in the lounge room and Dad would put on his ‘album of the week’.
He would pull Mum in his arms and dance around the room while we clapped hands and giggled—and then it was our turn.
Dad would grab us both and swing us up and around until we were sick with laughter and dizziness. The fun we had on those Sundays, I will never forget.
Dad was a very clever man and could be introspective at times when there were serious decisions to be made.
He never made rash decisions, but thought long and hard before giving us advice—sound advice that has helped to shape my life profoundly.
He was always walking around saying that “life is too short to be hunched over a desk all your life, you must go out into the world and experience its beauty and learn its mysteries.”
Even as adults Dad inspired us, although we never really told him.
Every couple of months the family would receive invitations to one of his infamous weekends away. He would find a mystery location—always near a river or the ocean and send us directions at the last minute.
We were prepared, as we had learnt years ago what the weekend would involve.
We would pack everything needed to go swimming, fishing, snorkeling, or if in the winter months bush walks and sightseeing—it was always a week-end of fun and activity.
Times that we all and especially the grandchildren will never forget.
Dad: Your love, your patience, your understanding, your wisdom and your amazing sense of humour will live on inside us forever.
You have given us gifts that are more precious than anything in this world.
Goodbye, Dad. You will always live on in my heart.
Matthew’s Eulogy for His Husband, Gareth
In the hit movie, “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, a beloved and larger-than-life character—Gareth—unexpectedly has a heart attack and passes away. Gareth’s life partner and best friend—Matthew—reads a beautiful and touching eulogy and poem at his funeral.
Notice how he doesn’t hold back. He talks about his husband’s great qualities, a few idiosyncrasies, and even a few outsiders’ negative points of view. He shares memories that mourners may be very familiar with and stories that may be new. At the end, he adds his hopes of how Gareth will be remembered, and then finishes with a poem that feels befitting to him and what he is enduring at that point.
Gareth used to prefer funerals to weddings.
He said it was easier to get enthusiastic about a ceremony one had an outside chance of eventually being involved in.
In order to prepare this speech, I rang a few people to get a general picture of how Gareth was regarded by those who met him.
‘Fat’ seems to have been a word people most connected with him. ‘Terribly rude’ also rang a lot of bells.
So ‘very fat’ and ‘very rude’ seems to have been the stranger’s viewpoint.
But some of you have rung me and let me know that you loved him, which I know he would have been thrilled to hear.
You remember his fabulous hospitality, his strange experimental cooking. The recipe for duck á la banana fortunately goes with him to his grave.
Most of all, you tell me of his enormous capacity for joy. And, when joyful, for highly vocal drunkenness.
I hope joyful is how you will remember him.
Not stuck in a box in a church.
Pick your favourite of his waistcoats and remember him that way.
The most splendid, replete, big-hearted—weak-hearted, as it turned out—and jolly bugger most of us ever met.
As for me, you may ask how I will remember him.
What I thought of him.
Unfortunately, there I run out of words.
Forgive me if I turn from my own feelings to the words of another splendid bugger, W.H. Auden.
This is actually what I want to say:
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let the aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He ls Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West.
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: Put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Writing Your Own Eulogy
A funeral service or memorial service eulogy is typically written and given by a close family member. However, you may want to consider writing your own eulogy speech or living eulogy. Why, you ask?
As you approach your later years and are facing the reality of your own mortality, an exercise such as writing your own eulogy can help you through a difficult time. Writing your own eulogy gives you the opportunity to look back on your life, reflect on the moments and people who changed you, and gain a healthier perspective regarding your impact on those around you.
Writing your own living eulogy can help you gain clarity. And it can help you identify unhelpful thoughts that you are stuck on. Through writing your own eulogy, you can get these thoughts out of your way and become more productive and a positive influence on those around you.
So, if there is something in your past that is still bothering you, it may be a good time to rectify any wrongs, accept things you may not be able to change, and arrive at some inner peace, knowing that you’ve lived a good and productive life. And if there’s something you need to change or something you’d like to accomplish, it’s never too late! With this new perspective in hand, you can live your best life possible in the years you have left.
How Lastly.com Can Help with Your Eulogy
At Lastly.com, our goal is to help you and your loved ones be remembered – everyone has a story, and everyone’s story should be told. We understand the stories of your life are important and worth remembering. We also know that documenting your life or the life of a loved one can seem difficult and time consuming. So, we’ve made it easy for you to do just that. Through our unique LifeReview™, you can answer some simple questions, follow the prompts, and easily create a life story, a beautiful framework or outline for preparing a eulogy.
Our comprehensive questions can help you avoid leaving out important details and stories. And we provide a place to collect all of those great stories that made a life well-lived. So, you and your loved ones will also be able to access this treasured family document online at any time in the future.
Please review our blog to find additional help on writing an obituary, death announcements and review more, free sample eulogies. If you need help more help with an obituary, feel free to use our obituary writing tool.