The AVBOB Poetry Competition | How To Write a Meaningful Eulogy

How To Write a Meaningful Eulogy

It is not always easy to find the right words when your heart is torn and your eyes are filled with tears. It can feel as if your mind is spinning on a carousel with nobody at the off switch. The same thoughts simply go round and round in your head. It is during this time, struggling to find the words, that you need to order them into some semblance of meaning. You want to honour your loved one, and shape the way others will remember him or her.

How do you make them see what you see, feel what you feel, and discover what you have known about your loved one for so long? How do you build an image in words that will fix your loved one in the minds and hearts of others? A eulogy aims to give the living a lasting memory of those who have passed away.

But, what if your words simply do not come together? If this is the case, you can read some of the many eulogies shared through our platform. Once you have been inspired, let your own words flow in a rhythmic pattern as if every word is a beat from the heart.

Forget about impressing. You do not need fancy words or a special rhyme. Think of the times you have spent together, words of wisdom shared, lighter moments, and the once-in-a-lifetime moments. Think of what the person did in their life and the challenges they faced. How did they respond?

Think of snippets of their life. Perhaps you have a letter buried somewhere in a memory box. Take it out or search for a birthday card wish. Go through your albums for photos of the person. Listen to music that reminds you of certain periods in their lives. Once you have collected the memories in your mind and on paper, you are ready to write your eulogy. Let the eulogy focus on specific aspects. Don’t try to cover every aspect of the person’s life or what they meant to you. Select those that evoke the clearer image in your mind.

This is one of the times in your life when you can be personal. Character traits are good, but a person was more than just what they did. Don’t list what they loved to do. This is not what a eulogy is about. Instead, share something they truly enjoyed or a defining moment in their life. You want to bring forth a more nuanced sense of them.

A eulogy is praise in poem format. Therefore, stay clear from unflattering thoughts or being critical. A eulogy is not the place to ponder weaknesses. If you need inspiration on how to write a eulogy that perfectly describes your loved one and warms the heart, you can find it on our platform, where we showcase eulogies from South Africans all over the country.