How to Write a Eulogy: A Step-by-Step Guide

Losing a loved one is a difficult experience and one that no one wants to go through. However, honoring that individual and their legacy through a eulogy can bring some measure of comfort during a trying time. Writing a eulogy can seem like a daunting task, but with this step-by-step guide, you can create a beautiful tribute that truly captures the essence of your loved one.

Understanding the Purpose of a Eulogy

Before diving into the process, it’s important to take a moment to consider the purpose of a eulogy. For many, it’s an opportunity to pay respect to a cherished loved one, share memories, and offer comfort and support to those mourning. It’s a powerful way to honor the memory of someone we love.

Honoring the Deceased

The primary goal of a eulogy is to pay tribute to the deceased. It’s a time to reflect on their life and to celebrate their accomplishments, their passions, and the impact they had on the world around them. A eulogy can help to bring closure to those who are mourning and can provide a sense of comfort and peace.

During a eulogy, it’s important to focus on the positive aspects of the person’s life. The word “eulogy” comes from the Greek word “eulogia,” which means “praise.”

The eulogy process is a way of praising and honoring the person who’s passed away, and it’s an opportunity to reflect on their life, to celebrate their achievements, their unique qualities, and the impact they had on the lives of others and the world. By focusing on the positive aspects of their life, we can help to honor their memory in a meaningful way.

Providing Comfort to the Bereaved

At a moment of loss, a eulogy can offer solace to those who may be struggling to come to terms with their grief. Words of encouragement, stories that inspire, and shared experiences can remind those in mourning that they are not alone. A eulogy can help to bring people together and can provide a sense of community during a difficult time.

It’s important to remember that a eulogy isn’t just about the person who has passed away – it’s also about the people who are left behind. By providing comfort and support to those who are grieving, we can help to ease their pain and help them to find peace.

Sharing Memories and Personal Stories

Memory is a powerful thing, and the story of a loved one can help to keep them alive in the hearts and minds of others. A eulogy is an opportunity to share stories and memories in a public forum that are unique and meaningful to the deceased and their loved ones.

By sharing personal stories and memories, we can help to create a lasting legacy for the person who has passed away. These stories can provide comfort to those who are grieving and can help to keep the memory of the person alive for years to come.

It’s important to remember that a eulogy is a celebration of life. Read more in our article about Traditional Funeral or Celebration of Life: How Death Rituals are Changing.

By sharing memories and personal stories, we can help to create a sense of joy and happiness during a difficult time.

How to Gather Information and Inspiration for a Eulogy

Talking to Family and Friends

When it comes to eulogy writing, it’s important to gather information and inspiration from those who knew the deceased best. Talking with family and friends can provide unique insights and perspectives that you may not have considered otherwise.

Perhaps your loved one had a close group of friends who they spent a lot of time with, or maybe they had a sibling who they were particularly close to. These individuals can offer valuable insights into your loved one’s personality, interests, and values.

Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions to help jog their memories. Ask about their favorite memories with the deceased or about any unique quirks or habits they may have had. These details can help you create a more personalized and heartfelt eulogy.

Reflecting on Your Relationship with the Deceased

Take some time to reflect on your own relationship with the deceased. Consider what they meant to you and how they impacted your life. These personal reflections can add a powerful and meaningful touch to a eulogy.

Think about any inside jokes or shared experiences that you had with your loved one. These can be great anecdotes to include in your eulogy, as they help to showcase your loved one’s unique personality and sense of humor.

It’s also important to consider any challenges or hardships that you may have faced together. Did your loved one offer you support and encouragement during a difficult time? Did they inspire you to be a better person? Sharing these experiences can help to highlight the impact that your loved one had on your life.

Considering the Deceased’s Values and Passions

Understanding the values and passions of your loved one can help to shape the tone and content of your eulogy. Were they passionate about a particular cause, or did they have a favorite hobby or activity? Use this information to help paint a picture of who they were.

Perhaps your loved one was an avid gardener, or maybe they were a talented musician. Sharing stories about their hobbies and interests can help to showcase their unique talents and passions.

It’s also important to consider any causes or issues that were important to your loved one. Did they volunteer at a local shelter or donate to a particular charity? Sharing these details can help to highlight your loved one’s generosity and compassion.

Overall, gathering information and inspiration from those who knew your loved one best can help you create a heartfelt and meaningful eulogy that truly honors their memory.

Organizing Your Thoughts

Writing a eulogy can be a daunting task, especially when you’re grieving. It can be hard to know where to start and how to organize your thoughts. However, with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can create a heartfelt tribute that truly honors the life of your loved one.

Creating an Outline

One of the best ways to get started is by creating an outline. This can help you to organize your thoughts and ensure that you cover all of the key points that you want to include in your eulogy. Start by jotting down some notes about the person you’re honoring. What were their passions, their accomplishments, and their quirks? What did they mean to you and to others?

Once you have some ideas down on paper, you can start to organize them into a logical order. Consider starting with an introduction that sets the tone for the eulogy and gives some background information about the person.

Then, move on to the main points that you want to cover, such as their achievements, their impact on others, and their legacy. Finally, wrap up with a conclusion that summarizes your thoughts and feelings.

Choosing a Theme or Focus

Another helpful strategy is to choose a theme or focus for your eulogy. This could be a favorite quote, a life lesson, or a memory that speaks to the essence of the departed. For example, if your loved one was known for their kindness, you could focus on that trait and share stories that illustrate how they touched the lives of others.

Having a theme or focus can help to tie everything together and make your eulogy more cohesive and meaningful. It can also help you to stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by unrelated stories or anecdotes.

Balancing Humor and Emotion

A eulogy is often a mix of both the celebration of a life well lived and the sadness that accompanies loss. While it’s important to honor the memory of your loved one and express your grief, it’s also okay to inject some humor into your eulogy. Sharing funny stories or anecdotes can help to lighten the mood and celebrate the life of your loved one.

However, it’s also important to strike a balance between humor and emotion. You don’t want to come across as disrespectful or insensitive, especially if there are family members or friends who are still grieving deeply. Be sure to keep the humor respectful and appropriate, and always err on the side of sensitivity and compassion.

By following these tips and taking the time to plan and prepare your eulogy, you can create a beautiful tribute that truly honors the life of your loved one.

How to Write the Eulogy

Writing a eulogy is a challenging and emotional task. It requires a delicate balance of honoring the deceased while also providing comfort and closure to those who are mourning.

A eulogy can serve as a final tribute to a loved one, a celebration of their life, and a way to say goodbye.

Crafting a Strong Opening

A strong opening can set the tone for the entire eulogy. It can capture the essence of the person being remembered and create a sense of connection with the audience. Consider starting with a favorite memory or a meaningful quote that embodies the spirit of the deceased.

For example, if your loved one was known for their sense of humor, you might start with a funny anecdote that highlights this quality.

Another way to create a strong opening is to share a personal reflection on the impact that the deceased had on your life. This can help to create an emotional connection with the audience and set the stage for the rest of the eulogy.

Sharing Personal Stories and Memories

Personal stories and memories can be one of the most impactful parts of a eulogy. They can help to paint a picture of the person being remembered and highlight the character and qualities that you admire the most. When sharing personal stories, it’s important to choose ones that are appropriate for the audience and that reflect the values and beliefs of the deceased.

You might share a story about a time when your loved one went out of their way to help someone in need or a memory of a special moment that you shared together. You might also share a story that highlights a particular talent or passion that the deceased had, such as their love of music or their dedication to a particular cause.

Including Quotes, Poems, or Religious Texts

If the deceased had a favorite poem or quote, incorporating those into the eulogy can be a wonderful and meaningful touch.

Check out these 50 Famous & Inspiring Quotes for a Funeral from Lasting Eulogies.

It can help to capture the essence of the person and provide comfort to those who are mourning. You might also consider including a religious text or prayer that’s meaningful to the family.

When choosing quotes or poems, it’s important to consider the tone of the eulogy and the values and beliefs of the deceased. You might choose a quote that reflects their sense of humor or a poem that speaks to their love of nature or their faith.

Concluding with a Meaningful Message

The conclusion of your eulogy is a time to offer a final message of love, support, and encouragement. You may want to consider ending with a favorite quote or a memory that summarizes everything that you’ve shared. It’s also often powerful to pause and speak directly to your loved one and say your goodbye.

Another way to conclude your eulogy is to offer a message of hope and comfort to those who are grieving. You might remind them of the love and support that they have from family and friends or offer words of encouragement for the future.

Writing a eulogy can be a difficult and emotional task, but it’s also a beautiful tribute to a life well-lived. By understanding the purpose of a eulogy, gathering information and inspiration from those who knew the deceased best, organizing your thoughts, and writing a heartfelt tribute, you can ensure that your loved one is remembered with the honor and respect that they deserve.

How to Hire a Professional Eulogy Writer

If you find that you’re still struggling with the writing process, or if it’s too painful or too time-consuming with all of the additional funeral preparations, consider hiring a professional eulogy writer. Having a professional eulogy writer draft and compose a eulogy is a service that can now be accessed online and save you the task.

Read Top 3 Reasons for Hiring a Professional Eulogy Writer Online.

Eulogy writing is an emerging service provided for families to alleviate the pain point of creating a speech during their grief and loss. You simply provide the stories and the memories and details of your loved one’s life, and your writer organizes and formats the words for you.

My company, Lasting Eulogies, would be happy to give you more information or guide you through our process.


Darcey Peterson is a professional writer and speechwriter and the owner of Lasting Eulogies, where she and her team provide custom-written eulogies for people who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Originally from New York, she has written PR as well as speeches for politicians, CEOs, organizational leaders, college professors, and many others in a variety of professions. She currently lives in the beautiful Puget Sound with her family.

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Sara is the Editor in Chief for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death care industry in the US for the last 15 years.