Reading a eulogy at Better Place Forests '

How to Write a Eulogy for Your Loved One

Learn about Better Place Forests sustainable Memorial Forest and find your perfect tree

When a loved one passes away, we want to pay tribute to their life in a meaningful way. For loved ones, honoring cherished memories and accomplishments is an important part of the grieving process. This step helps commemorate their legacy in a way that feels true to their memory and the values they held. Writing a eulogy is a beautiful way to share these pivotal moments with the people who loved the departed.

What is a eulogy?

A eulogy is a remembrance speech that family members, close friends, or colleagues give during a funeral or memorial service. Sometimes just one person gives a eulogy at the memorial, and other times multiple people are chosen to share their memories and stories. With families and friends often traveling for a memorial service, eulogies serve as an opportunity for much-needed reflection as everyone gathers to honor a loved one’s passing.

Writing a eulogy is a challenging task after losing someone dear to you. You’ll have to gather stories and memories to share in front of a room full of people. Remember that what makes eulogies beautiful is their opportunity to bring comfort to those family and friends who share your grief while keeping the legacy of your loved one alive.

Don’t feel daunted; anyone can write a great eulogy. The key is to write something genuine that comes from the heart. While there are no rules for writing a eulogy, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you create a sincere eulogy about your loved one.

How long should a eulogy be?

The deep love and loss you hold for someone who has passed can feel impossible to fit into a eulogy. Most eulogies are 5–10 minutes long, and it’s a challenge to fit someone’s whole life story into that amount of time. Look at it as a speech meant to capture the essence of their character and their values, honoring what they contributed to this world. The best place to start is deciding what stories and memories you’d like to include.

Below we’ve included a few steps for how you can write a meaningful eulogy.

What should I include in a eulogy?

Every eulogy should be unique, but these topics will help you draw inspiration:

  • A brief overview of their life, including key milestones
  • Your favorite memories with them, including a specific anecdote or two
  • Details about their relationships with close family and friends
  • Any significant accomplishments related to career, interests, or hobbies
  • Poems, stories, or songs written by the departed
  • Favorite words by authors or poets they admired

How to write a meaningful eulogy for a loved one

There is no right or wrong way to write a eulogy. If you’ve been chosen to deliver one, you were likely picked because of your meaningful connection to the departed and your beautiful storytelling abilities. Have confidence in yourself throughout this process — and if you begin to feel nervous, rely on the memories you have with your loved one to guide you.

1. Gather memories

First, create a timeline of some of their most significant life moments — whether getting married, having children, details of their noteworthy career, a lifetime of travel, or their involvement and dedication to their community. Seeing a timeline of their most important life moments on paper will help you identify what stands out as worth highlighting in your eulogy.

  • Read old letters, emails, and text messages
  • Revisit memorabilia
  • Return to special places that hold memories
  • Watch family videos and look through old photos

Try writing down all the words you would use to describe them and their personality

You may decide to include some of these descriptors in your eulogy. Taking the time to write down what you cherished about their character and your life together will bring back specific memories about them.

Family members and close friends are another source of ideas. Ask them about their favorite memories, insights into their relationship with the deceased, or places and times of the year that will always remind them of your loved one.

Ask friends and family these questions for inspiration:

  • What were some of their favorite experiences with them?
  • Were there specific personality traits that stick out to you?
  • Did they have a mantra, song lyric, or quote that they loved?
  • What heartwarming stories capture the essence of them?

Gathering ideas from different sources will help you identify a common thread or theme to tie the pieces of your eulogy together.

A family and their dog sit at the base of a memorial tree

Get a FREE printable Better Place Forests Guide​

Learn about how a Memorial Forest works, pricing, and more with this download.