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Writing a Eulogy. (1 Viewer)

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Stormcat

Senior Member
Don't worry, It's not for anyone I knew personally, It's for a deceased character in my story.

So... Eulogies. I know they're supposed to be about a person's life and all, but I'm having trouble coming up with one for one of my (dead) characters. It's not that I don't know the character's life, It's that I don't know how to put it into eulogy format. Can I get some help?

Also, some advice on funeral blessings/prayers I could use would be helpful too.
 

JBF

Staff member
Global Moderator
Weird as it sounds, I have one who winds up writing his own.

It's not intentional and the particulars aren't mentioned beforehand, though the infrastructure is set up early on and the final exchange also functions as a summation of the changes in that particular character.

I have no idea if it works or not.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Eulogies typically start with talking about family members and close friends. Then they often go into accomplishment, followed by a series of funny stories moving towards heartfelt stories that highlight the person's greatest characteristics. The best eulogy I ever heard described the person as an oak tree. Weaving that personification into each new tale -- emphasizing his integrity, strength, and the security he provided to everyone in the room with his broad branches, hovering over us for protection.

That concept really works, to pick a metaphor as a common underlying theme to revisit throughout the speech.
 
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TheMightyAz

Mentor
As Indianroads has said, just write what you would say or a character would say. I would also see it as daunting though. I get where you're coming from. It's a speech at a funeral! If there ever was a time to get it right, then one would think, that's the time. But that's a misconception. The word itself (eulogy) seems to beg for perfection with a heavy suggestion of 'formal'. That's not the case though. If you listen to eulogies in films, they're often personal and even lighthearted. It's that layer to them that makes them poignant. It's a celebration of a life more than a mournful goodbye.
 

Darkkin

WF Veterans
There is a book I grew up reading written by Jane Yolen called Where Have the Unicorns Gone. As curious as it is, it is indeed a eulogy to the passing of nature and imagination. Its tone draws one in and make one reflect on what is now past.

One slyly humourous example of a eulogy: Epitaph to a Dog by George Gordon Byron


A common theme, too is to fib, in order to make one's relative/friend/grand poobah sound much bigger, greater, and less dreadful than they were in life, when the truth of the matter is that many a time one was sorely tempted to clout the deceased with a shovel.
 
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Stormcat

Senior Member
People tell funny stories and share fond memories of the departed.

Don't know if I could really tell a lot of "Funny" stories, as this character was a government official and this is a state funeral.

Cool video though. Reminds me of how we sent off my Husband's uncle David. He wanted us all to have a drink at his graveside, so we did.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Don't know if I could really tell a lot of "Funny" stories, as this character was a government official and this is a state funeral.

Cool video though. Reminds me of how we sent off my Husband's uncle David. He wanted us all to have a drink at his graveside, so we did.
A list of accomplishments doesn't really hold up as a eulogy - it needs to be something personal. Try having your characters talk about his compassion for the common citizenry?

I've had the misfortune of having a number of friends die, and it's always hard. The worst was after one of my top martial art students died in a car crash... he was just 17 years old. There wasn't a dry eye at the funeral. Worst for me was the graveside service... I had to hold his mother back from throwing herself into the grave with him... that really tore me up.
 

Stormcat

Senior Member
A list of accomplishments doesn't really hold up as a eulogy - it needs to be something personal. Try having your characters talk about his compassion for the common citizenry?
Actually, this person was a known sadist and asshole, so I may have to "Embellish" the Eulogy quite a bit.

I've had the misfortune of having a number of friends die, and it's always hard. The worst was after one of my top martial art students died in a car crash... he was just 17 years old. There wasn't a dry eye at the funeral. Worst for me was the graveside service... I had to hold his mother back from throwing herself into the grave with him... that really tore me up.
I'm so sorry to hear about that. I hope everybody involved is in a better place now. :'(
 
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