Your mother was a one-of-a-kind individual and deserves to be honored and celebrated in a way that only her child could convey. A eulogy represents a beautiful and timeless way to usher your mother into rest and peace. It can be difficult, however, to choose the right words and deliver them confidently. You are grieving, you are distracted, you are nervous; we are here to ease these difficulties with this comprehensive guide to celebrating your mother’s life through eulogy.
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We understand that there is no right answer when it comes to writing a well-crafted eulogy. Every presenter is different, every honoree is different, and the circumstances surrounding the two will vary. The best practices we present here are only guidelines, a roadmap to moving through the stress, grief, and anxiety you are feeling in order to compose and present the eulogy your mother deserves. As you prepare, create, and plan to deliver your eulogy, we are available to assist, support, or answer any question you may have. Contact us at 320-4-EULOGY (320-438-5649) at any point during the process.
Individuals may have widely varying ideas of what comprises a eulogy. Although their content differs considerably depending on the eulogist and the deceased, several characteristics of a eulogy remain the same.
Distinguishing between these formats may cause stress for eulogists as they plan their speeches. However, our step-by-step process will assist you through the preparation, composition, review, and delivery of a unique eulogy to honor your mother.
Before you begin writing about your mother, first consider the countless ways she was influential and important. Especially with someone as near and dear as one’s own mother, many people believe that writing a eulogy should be a simple process. The assumption is that as her child, you are uniquely equipped to recall and record everything there is to know about your mother, and therefore, it should not require brainstorming or advanced planning. This is a misconception.
Truthfully, every individual presents multiple facets and remarkable qualities, and your mother is no exception. To help do justice to all of her complexities and accomplishments, we recommend gathering your thoughts, ideas, and inspirations before beginning to outline and write your eulogy. Photos, letters, memorabilia, personal belongings, reflection, and conversations with others can all facilitate this process.
As you may anticipate, this phase of the eulogizing process can be stressful and highly fraught with emotion. We understand. For some, contemplating a mother’s life and impact can lessen the impact of grief. For others, the severity of the loss makes identifying happy memories quite difficult. For effective brainstorming during this emotional stage, we have listed a few topics for consideration and discussion, including:
It may feel overwhelming to consider all of these topics, but consulting with others who knew and loved your mother can help you form a more comprehensive and complete picture of her as an individual. Most individuals will feel honored to contribute to this important and sacred tribute.
Many people believe the mood of a eulogy should always be sad, because it is being presented at a funeral or memorial service. We understand this common misconception, but we refute it. While it may seem difficult at first to create a joyful mood when all you feel is sorrowful loss, consider this: How would your mother want you to feel? How do you hope others will feel when you have finished presenting your eulogy? The answers to those questions should govern the tone and mood of your eulogy.
Of course, it is wise to ensure that the mood of your eulogy will not offend your venue, your audience, or the circumstances surrounding your mother’s death. However, most importantly, it should celebrate and honor her personality and her life. The tone and mood of the eulogy will also help you decide which topics or ideas to keep and which to leave out.
Now that you have collected a list of topics to discuss in your eulogy, decide how you would like to organize them. First, pinpoint any repeating ideas in the list to put together an all-encompassing message for your eulogy. Is your eulogy meant to enlighten, to show admiration, to cheer, to lay to rest? Above all, be sure that the most important and essential memories of your mother and her life are being covered in some form.
As you have likely accrued a broad and multifaceted list of topics surrounding your mother’s life, it is best to categorize them. Some individuals may feel better organizing their thoughts in a timeline – following their mother’s early childhood to her marriage, motherhood, and beyond. Others may feel more organized using various categories to organize the eulogy, such as the mother’s role as a businesswoman, as a friend, or philanthropist.
Fortunately, you will not need to give your audience a full account of your mother’s life story. Most of your listeners will be at least somewhat familiar with these major events, so you can tell your stories without too many points of reference. You should instead focus on the major highlights and finer points of your mother’s personality and legacy.
Length is an important consideration for a eulogy. A speech that goes on too long will be emotionally and mentally taxing for you, as well as overwhelming for the audience. However, an overly brief eulogy will be unlikely to cover the most important points you want to make, leaving the speech feeling incomplete.
Five to seven minutes is an appropriate length for a eulogy and balances dedication with concision. Therefore, consider the desired length before beginning to outline and write your eulogy. This can be a critical factor in deciding which stories to tell and how to tell them.
Now that you have your ideas in place and understand your anticipated duration and organizational structure, begin to put everything in order. By incorporating some ideas into your introduction, others into the body, and final thoughts at the end, writing will become a much easier undertaking.
Many people believe they will be able to perform a eulogy on behalf of a loved one without outlining their thoughts, but this can lead to a eulogy that seems disorganized and ill-prepared. Your mother deserves the best. If you struggle with transitioning your thoughts into a proper outline, or would like your outline reviewed by an experienced professional, call 320-4-EULOGY (320-438-5649).
You have outlined your ideas and are sitting down to write. At this point, it is important to write with simple language, honest emotions, and adherence to the appropriate mood. There is no reason to overcomplicate your eulogy with elaborate prose. Your audience will be seeking solace for their grief and a true, heartfelt representation of your mother’s beauty and dignity. The best way to deliver this effect is to write words, thoughts, and feelings that will sound and feel right when spoken.
A eulogy introduction can be difficult to compose. Consider a two-part introduction for the best results:
You might be surprised when your mother’s funeral or memorial service is populated with some unfamiliar faces. These individuals – likely former coworkers, friends, or neighbors – need to know who is speaking to them, as it provides context that will help them understand what they are hearing. Further, even those who know you by name should understand the nature of your relationship with your mother and the reason you were chosen to present this eulogy.
Familiarize your audience with the intended mood and message of the eulogy. Before you leave the introduction and begin the body, your listeners should know if the eulogy they are about to listen to will be humorous and light, stoic and solemn, or something else.
You can now use the organized outline of ideas from your brainstorming session and move through them chronologically or categorically to deliver points about your mother. While you write, consider that everything you are writing will be read aloud and should be written for that purpose. In the event that you struggle with finding the right words or flow for your composition, call 320-4-EULOGY (320-438-5649).
As with any speech, the final statements of a eulogy are often the most impactful and should certainly make a lasting impression on listeners. As you write your concluding statements, consider what you want your listeners to take away from what you have said.
Summarizing the main points of your eulogy is fine, but be sure to thank the audience for listening and express gratitude for the time you were given to speak. The last words you speak should encapsulate the message you delivered while leaving attendees with a final image or feeling that epitomizes how you want them to remember your mother.
After finishing a piece of writing, it is normal to walk away feeling accomplished and relieved. We advise this break from writing before the editing phase begins. Forgetting to edit entirely, however, could be a potentially serious mistake. As any human is prone to errors, you are bound to have produced some spelling, grammatical, or wording errors that could be easily corrected. Editing helps eradicate those errors and makes certain that when you are at the podium or microphone, you are not distracted by a typo or missing word.
Consider asking a friend or relative to read through the eulogy and confirm that everything is accurate in terms of language and form. It may also be beneficial to read the piece aloud to someone so that you can hear how the words flow when spoken and how your audience will hear the eulogy.
Will you memorize your eulogy or read it from note cards? Perhaps you will “meet in the middle” by memorizing specific stories, but use note cards to guide the order and movement of the speech. However you plan to familiarize yourself with the content, run through your speech frequently to become aware of how it sounds and how comfortable you feel presenting the information. Practicing often will ensure that if you miss a section, you will know where to resume. Frequent practicing before the presentation can also alleviate much of the nervousness that can result from a lack of preparation.
In any other circumstance, nervousness would be completely understandable. Given the grief and stress you are experiencing after the loss of your mother, anxiety may increase exponentially when it comes to presenting your intimate thoughts and feelings. We would like to offer you the following tips as a way of relieving some anxiety and helping you prepare.
When you are nervous, you may have the tendency to fly through your speech. However, you are much more likely to stumble over your words or lose your audience when you are speaking at high speed. Prevent this by slowing down your speech far more than what might sound natural. It may feel strange, but in the end your nerves will be soothed, and your audience will understand your message.
Clear speech and adequate volume are important components of any verbal presentation. Be sure to enunciate and speak as loudly as is necessary to drown out any background sounds. If you use a microphone, you will not have to project your voice as much, but you may want to practice with it ahead of time to be sure that you are comfortable managing the technology. If you are not using sound enhancement, do your best to project much louder than might seem necessary.
You have been through a trying time. You have lost your mother, may have helped manage funeral arrangements, and are helping your family grieve. You have written and are delivering this eulogy amid deep grief, and becoming nervous is normal. If you stumble over a word, lose your place, or become emotional during your eulogy, take a brief pause, breathe deeply, and keep moving. Your audience surely understands your emotions, even if they may not feel them as deeply.
Imagine: You have presented your eulogy, and the services are over. You have successfully performed one of life’s most difficult duties. With seeming ease, you have composed and delivered a lovely eulogy on behalf of the mother you loved so dearly. As a result, you helped bring an audience of grieving loved ones to a place of nostalgia and peace. This is the time to congratulate yourself on a job well done. Your mother would be gratified and pleased.
If you find yourself stuck at any point – from deciding what to write, to outlining, composing, reviewing, or even delivering your eulogy, do not fret. We are always ready and willing to assist you in writing the perfect eulogy for the woman who raised and loved you. Contact us at 320-4-EULOGY (320-438-5649), and with our help, you can feel confident your eulogy will properly celebrate and pay homage to your loved one.
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