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How to Write a Eulogy for a Friend

Writing a eulogy for a friend is a rare, but unfortunate, opportunity to publicly share and reflect on the meaning behind your relationship with said friend. It’s a unique moment to share with a group of people who loved this individual as much as you did and to connect with them over how much this individual meant to all of you. Being asked to give a funeral speech for a friend at their funeral can feel like a lot, but it’s generally because those asking know how close you were to the deceased. If you’ve never written a eulogy before, simply follow these steps so you can feel confident when reading the tribute to your friend at the funeral.

What is a eulogy?

A eulogy (also known as a funeral speech or funeral tribute) is a short speech that’s read in memory of someone who has passed away. Eulogies are most often read by someone the deceased was close with or someone important from their lives (normally a family member or friend); they typically take around 3 - 10 minutes total to read.

How to write a eulogy for a friend

If you’re like many eulogy writers in that you’ve never written a eulogy before and aren't’ sure where to start, here are some steps to get you going:

  1. Start by looking through eulogy examples for a friend. Looking at sample eulogies for a friend can help you figure out many things when writing a eulogy, such as the style you like, the content you want to include, eulogy for a friend quotes or other poems or popular readings you’d like to reference, the tone of the eulogy, and the length of the eulogy. Samples are a great way to figure out your own style and how you’d like to apply it when writing a touching eulogy for a friend.
  2. Once you have a basic understanding of what a eulogy looks like and the kind of content typically included in it, it’s time to read through a guide on how to write a eulogy. The guide will give you step-by-step instructions on how to write the eulogy. (Looking at examples of great eulogies for a friend is always helpful, but knowing the standard structure of a eulogy can help you figure out when to depart from the norm and how to customize the eulogy when you’re ready.)
  3. After you’ve filtered through eulogy examples you like and have an understanding of what you’re going to do, it’s time to start the actual writing process. To get started, consider some of these questions: What qualities did your friend have? What made them special? What were their pet peeves? What were their passions in life? What riled them up? How are they most often described? How did your friendship make you feel? How did you meet? What are some of your favorite memories? What are some lessons they taught you that you’ll hold on to? What kind of person were they?
  4. With your reflections written out and the main content of your eulogy identified, start writing them down in the form of a eulogy. This is a good time to identify any poems or quotes you want to include in the eulogy for your friend.
  5. After you’ve finalized the written eulogy, try reading it in front of another friend or family member to get a feel for how the eulogy sounds when read aloud. If you’re comfortable with it, ask the family member or friend for feedback or suggestions.

If you eventually decide you’re not comfortable writing the eulogy on your own, you always have the option to hire a professional eulogy writer to write a eulogy in your stead. Hiring a professional eulogy writer does not have to be something you share with others, and they generally have pretty quick turnaround times if you find yourself in a pinch.

Is it appropriate to write a lighthearted eulogy?

Eulogies are unique; they can be as serious or light hearted as the individual writing the eulogy wants them to be. Of course, when delivering the eulogy, it can help to think about how the eulogy will be received by those attending, but the most important part is to remain true to the person who passed away. If they were a happy-go-lucky person and always upbeat, reflecting this aspect of their personality in the eulogy would be considered honoring who they were as an individual. At the same time, if you happen to be a very upbeat person but your friend was more serious and reserved, it’s important to stay true to the type of person they were (not the type of person you are).

I’m not good with public speaking. What should I do?

If you’re not comfortable with public speaking, don’t worry! You’re not alone. Many, many, many people struggle with public speaking and aren’t comfortable with it at any point. Public speaking at a funeral can present additional pressure and emotional dysregulation that can lead to you feeling not up to par, even if you’re normally comfortable with public speaking. If you’re worried you won’t be able to make it through the speech or just don’t want to give a public speech at the funeral, you have some options:

  • Consider asking a friend or family member to read the eulogy you wrote.
  • Ask someone to stand alongside you when you read the eulogy and jump in if you need their assistance.
  • Ask someone else to write a eulogy alongside you that you both read at the funeral.
  • Say a few short words instead of a full eulogy or funeral speech.

If you decide you don’t want to do a speech but still want to share the speech you wrote, you can always post it online for others to read using an Ever Loved memorial website.

Setting up a memorial website on Ever Loved is an easy way to keep everyone in touch and informed about any upcoming events. Memorial websites let you easily collect photos and memories, share event information, collect donations, and keep in touch with everyone attending (and not attending) any upcoming events – all in one place.

Start a website

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Last updated May 20, 2022
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