Eulogies

Giving a meaningful, moving eulogy is challenging for the most refined and comfortable speakers, but it need not be.  How can you summarize somebody’s life in a few short minutes [it is impossible], look for the essence of the loved one and look to present a  concise synapsis of their personality, accomplishments and legacy. Try to refrain from telling every story you know, depending on the audience and place the eulogy is given be respectful of what stories are shared [visitations and receptions are perfect for sharing lengthy, humorous and special stories. A well written eulogy may be presented in five minutes and an effort should be made to keep it less than 10 minutes...

  • Gather information.  Talk with family members, close friends and co-workers
  • Organize your thoughts.  Create an outline of your speech
  • Write it down.  Writing it all down allows you to include and remember every detail you wanted in your eulogy, make sure it is easy to read and be cognizant of your time constraints.
  • Review and Revise.  When you think you are done, sleep on it and look it over in the morning, this is the time for revisions.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice.  Read over your eulogy several times, practice in front of a mirror, read it to some friends
  • Make them laugh, but be respectful.  A funeral is not a roast, however there is room for humor in your eulogy. 
  • Don’t be afraid to show emotion. However, if you are concerned that you will be overcome by emotion, have a back-up plan in place where someone you trust can deliver the eulogy for you.  Give them a copy well in advance if you feel this could be an issue.
  • Have a glass of water as well as tissues handy.

Obituaries

Writing an obituary is a difficult and emotional task.   First, you will need to gather information from family and friends of the deceased about their childhood, education, career and hobbies and interests.  As well, speak to the funeral home to receive any important information on the date, time and location of any funeral service, or other funeral related events. 

Most newspapers charge by space used [lines, column inch's...]. At Miller's more and more families elect to place a smaller paid obituary and then provide a memorial to be placed on the funeral home website which when shared by friends and family, through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter... often provides a better resource for providing information and assists in lowering the costs associated with many newspapers.