I lost my mum three weeks ago to lung cancer. We were really close- we lived together, she was actually my carer up until she got ill last autumn and I was then her full time carer until she passed away. Her funeral is next week and my eldest sister and I have been planning on giving the eulogy.
I’ve never been a good public speaker, I’ve been very quiet and shy since I was a child. But it always made my mum really proud wherever I would do any kind of speech, so I know it’d really mean a lot to her for me to talk at her funeral. My sister isn’t sure she’s going to be able to speak now, which I completely understand, but I’m feeling very daunted at the thought of giving the eulogy by myself. My brother-in-law has offered to read it if we can’t, but I really want to honour my mum this way, I know it would’ve been very important to her.
Does anybody have any advice, in terms of speaking at a funeral but also writing a eulogy? I really have no idea where to begin with it all.
Hi @rebekahdaphne, our daughter spoke at her dad’s funeral. She wasn’t sure if she would break down, so she pre-recorded it and it was played during the funeral service.
I would ask your funeral directors if they can provide this service, that way both you and your sister get to say what you want too without any pressure on the day.
She just spoke about her memories of her dad and many funny moments she remembered.
We had a private funeral service.
We each wrote a personal memory of hubby & dad which the celebrant kindly read out on our behalf.
@rebekahdaphne My late wife had cancer but her death was unexpected, she had a humanist funeral and we arranged a celebrant to read the eulogy which I wrote. Neither our two adult children, nor I could face reading it, I suppose, we were still in shock.
I found writing it challenging but maybe it was easier for me as a husband because I could write of our meeting, our courtship and our life together. I wrote and rewrote it several times but eventually the day arrived and it was touchingly delivered, the celebrant speaking in the third person; referring to us as Anne and Barrie, or he and she.
I believe the mourners found it quite moving, learning more about their late colleague and friend than they’d previously known.
You can speak of how loved and respected your mother was, of her friends and colleagues attending her funeral, those, who’d perhaps provided support?
Of her life, where she was born and grew up, education, her meeting with your father, their life together?
I’d suggest you write what you know of your mother as you and your sister grew up, how she helped and encouraged you both to become the people you are today.
It helps if you can recall an amusing anecdote, something that went wrong baking in the kitchen perhaps or a particular holiday?
People will understand that it’s going to be a trial for you, so don’t worry if you have to pause to collect your emotions or to stifle tears.
Stop, take a breath and start again from where you stopped.
Nobody there will judge you, there is nothing to be afraid of, you’re doing it for your mother. People will be with you.
I read a poem at both my parents funerals.
I couldn’t bear not to. My mum was so proud and pleased i had read at dad’s that i felt i owed her the same.
My advice would be breathe however i found i couldnt look up at congregation.
I took a deep breath before each line and managed to get through both times.
It was only the thought of knowing my mum would be so proud that made me strong enough to read a eulogy. I had my best friend with me who agreed to step in if needed, she practised it with compassion. I managed it, I faltered half way but imagined my mum listening, smiling, saying that’s my daughter talking about me. My mum was ballsy, said it as it was, would not hide, chose courage over comfort, I reflected all of this.
My mam passed away a week ago today. We buried mam on Monday past. I said a eulogy at the mass. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do…ever. but I’m so proud I did it and mam would have been so happy I did it for her. In the last 4 years I’ve lost 2 brothers also and this really affected my mam as it would. I have one brother left and as I read the eulogy he stood beside me and that was honestly the support I needed to get through it…I could barely see the words with the tears but I say try and do it if you can. You will be immensely proud of yourself and so you should be.
@Tweety1 thats how i felt… i knew mum would have been pleased I’d done it.
Well done for getting through it x
Thank you and you too. Not sure I’ll ever get over this loss again x
Hi there rebeka,
I know the aim is to deliver the eulogy but neither me or my brother could do it for my my mum 2 months ago. The priest read out what I wrote. I would err on the side of taking extra pressure off yourself but it sounds like youre preparing yourself to go ahead.
There are guidelines online to writing a eulogy and I found them helpful.
In case it helps I wrote a paragraph about my mums upbringing, up to whenshe met my Dad. Then what her achievements and values were, a funny paragraph about her quirks and tastes, a few words from my friend who’d outlined how she’d experienced her, things Id appreciated about her. Lastly a few words about her ending and how much I loved and would always miss her.
Once youve written it out, have a few trusted people read it and give any feedback.
It was fairly simple and easy actually. It came from the heart…thats whats best and people said it was touching.
I lost both my parents in the past year, my dad first then mum. They were both only 64 so young! I did the eulogy for both parents. My advice is don’t be afraid to speak from the heart. I didn’t get caught up in facts and dates. But put some stories in people could relate too, and some things people didn’t know about the real them. I have a uncle that gives me strength I focussed on him for the duration of the reading, and finally don’t worry if your voice cracks a little it’s allowed it just shows how much you love them.