How to write the best obituary and eulogy
It can be an overwhelming and an extremely emotional experience to write an obituary or a eulogy for a loved one, colleague, or friend. Approaching this process with an open mind and capitalizing on some of the best practices for writing a great obituary or eulogy can help you feel more confident about this challenging process. Many people are interested in determining the way to write the best obituary or best eulogy. It is important to keep in mind that as someone who knew the deceased, you have a unique perspective on how they approach their life and you can bring this to the table when crafting a personalized eulogy or obituary.
Whether someone is young or lived an extremely long life, it can be difficult to encapsulate everything important about their time here on Earth in a great eulogy or the best obituary. In fact, if you have been the person in the family tasked with this responsibility, you might even feel as though it will be impossible to distill many years of experience and inspiration down in into just a couple of paragraphs. Know that you are not alone in feeling this way about writing the best eulogy or best obituary.
Often, what family members and Friends remember about reading the obituary or hearing in the eulogy is because of the unique perspective you bring regarding the loved one’s life and legacy. This means that it is almost impossible for you to fail in the process of creating the best obituary or best eulogy. As someone who knew the person who has passed away, you can share how they personally shaped and changed your life and why the world was a better place because they were in it.
Your ability to put this into words to be shared during obituary or a eulogy is something that should be treasured regardless of the approach that you take. This means that there is no one wrong way to approach the best obituary or best eulogy. Instead, keep an open mind and remember that what is most important is bringing your individual perspective.
Tips for Writing the Best Obituary
Even if the obit will appear online, you have a limited number of words to make an impact with what you share about this person. For that reason, you should plan ahead on writing a first draft of an obituary, saving plenty of time for loved ones to review what you created, and then polishing a final draft before submitting it. Your funeral director might even be able to help you with your obituary or to give you some commentary about how to craft it, but this should be something that incorporates some of the most important details about that loved one’s life.
Announce the Death First
While most people might assume that the death is clear because this is appearing in a newspaper obituary section or a funeral website, write a simple statement that explains that the person has passed away. You can keep it simple, by mentioning their name, whether they were a wife or husband, how many kids they had, and their age at the time of passing.
Explain Some Biography
Upbringing, education, work history, accomplishments, and details of any marriages go into this section. Be precise and clear with this portion of the obituary.
Capture the Spirit of the Person
What you’ve included in the obit so far are some of the factual details about the person’s life and death. However, there is still room to add in some other details that speak more to the personality, such as their passions, hobbies, and what the loved one was like. This is where you can add your personal touch to write the best obituary.
Towards the end of the obit, be selective about who you include as family members. A general overview of family should be inserted at this point, and close family members can be listed by their names.
Don’t forget to include details about the location, time, and date of the funeral. If flowers or donations are requested, list these here so that people can decide what role they want to play in remembering the deceased.
Tips for Writing the Best Eulogy
While some of the same information might come across in both the eulogy and the obituary, one is delivered via voice and will be much more personal. That’s where it comes to writing the best eulogy. The process for writing a eulogy, and a meaningful one that will make an impact on everyone attending the funeral, begins with making a decision about what path you’d like to take.
There are two primary type of eulogies: shared memories or life history. You can focus on one or the other or do a combination of both when trying to deliver the best eulogy. Remember that you are writing for the audience, not yourself. There’s no doubt that in delivering the best eulogy you can also help grieve in your own process, but being a part of the funeral in this way means speaking from the heart in a way that will touch your audience.
It’s okay to cross emotions when writing your first draft for the best eulogy. You might touch on some funny stories but also tap into some of the tougher times or your own sadness. A mix of both is appropriate based on your own feelings about what this person meant to your life.
Since there can be a lot of emotions on the day of, don’t put yourself under any additional pressure to deliver the best eulogy: write down what you want to say. If you start to falter at the podium, your written words can help you get back on track.
Don’t speak for too long- several minutes is a good guideline for the best eulogy. When you practice, perhaps ask one other person you trust to listen in and give you some feedback so that you can make the piece shorter or longer as necessary.
Finally here is a great video series, in 6 steps, from our friends at TheRightEulogy.com