Should I Write and Deliver a Eulogy?

The death of a loved one is a challenging time for anyone; however, if you have been asked to delivery a eulogy, then what is already a very difficult time in your life can quickly become a lot worse. If your family or close friends have requested that you eulogize the recently departed, then it is understandable if you are having a lot of mixed emotions surrounding the issue. You might be thinking to yourself, “Should I say yes? Do I even know how to write a eulogy? If I mess up, will everyone blame me?”. All of these questions and many more are completely normal things for you to be asking yourself at such a time. Not only are you dealing with all of the grief that comes with death, but now on top of all of that you are feeling a large amount of pressure: pressure to do the right thing, pressure to not fail. So, should you accept this particular undertaking? Below are a few things that you need to consider before deciding on whether to accept or decline the request to deliver and write a eulogy.

1. There is a time limit for writing the eulogy.

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Most funerals and memorial services take place within two to three days of the death; sometimes more or less depending on religious customs, cultural requirements and circumstances surrounding the death. If you don’t know when the service is going to take place, contact someone who knows. Once you find out the date, ask yourself if you can prepare a speech in that amount of time. If you are not confident in your ability to do so, then you should ask for help or pass the task on to someone else.

2. Do you know the deceased well enough to write about them?

It is extremely challenging to write about someone you know and love during a time of sorrow, but it is significantly more difficult to write about someone that you didn’t know well or at all. If you knew the person, then you will have plenty of material to go on; however, if you didn’t know the deceased very well, then you will need to speak to people who did to gather information for your speech.

3. Are you comfortable with public speaking?

The thought of speaking in front of a room full of people is terrifying to most. Do you think you can do it? No one is asking that you be perfect, but you do need to be able to give it your best shot. If you need help on delivering your speech, please check out our segment on “How to Avoid Becoming Emotional While Delivering a Eulogy”. There you will find easy to follow tips on how to best get through public speaking during such an emotional time in your life.

4. Are you confident in your writing skills?

In order to be able to compose a eulogy in a timely fashion, you need to be able to write your speech pretty quickly. If writing has never been your forte, you can certainly ask for help. Check out our article on “How to Write a Eulogy” for some helpful advice. If you still don’t think you will be able to get the writing accomplished, then don’t accept the honor of writing and delivering the eulogy for your recently deceased friend or family member. This is a person’s memory that you will be honoring, don’t waste the opportunity to eulogize a person’s life. If you don’t think that you will be able to finish it in time, then pass it on to someone else.

5. Writing the eulogy can help you cope with the death.

While writing your loved one’s eulogy, you will have the special opportunity to get your feelings out on paper. Even if you decide to edit those feelings out of the speech later on, you will have done wonders for you and your sorrow by getting them out of your system. Also, by standing up in front of a room full of people and eulogizing your friend or loved one, you will have the unique chance to pay tribute to someone that you loved very much. Doing so will give you a sense of accomplishment: the belief that you did your friend or loved one justice.

6. You have to decide very quickly.

Remember: not only will the service most likely be taking place in just a few short days, but if you decide to pass on the opportunity to eulogize the recently departed, then you need to give the family ample time to decide on someone else for the eulogy. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you decide on the matter in a timely fashion.

If you have been asked to write and deliver a eulogy and are not sure if you are up for the task, make sure and ponder the following: can you write the speech in a punctual manner, do you know the deceased well enough to write a tribute, are you comfortable with public speaking, are you confident in your writing skills, are you aware that taking on the task can help you with your grief, and are you able to decide on whether or not you will accept the job in a timely fashion?

If the answer to all of those questions is yes, then you have been blessed with a wonderful opportunity to speak about your loved one’s life in a way that would have made the deceased proud. If the answer to some or all of the questions is no, then don’t be disappointed in yourself. You will be passing on the opportunity to eulogize the deceased to someone who will be able to memorialize the death in a way that person so deserves.

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