You may prefer to ask someone else to write it, or perhaps have them on standby to give it for you.
Whatever your thoughts, you should not feel pressured into giving a eulogy or guilty if you feel unable to do so.
You may have all the information you need, or you may want to speak to other people close to the person to get precise details and check your facts.
You may have arranged the funeral as a friend of the deceased, not knowing too much about them and having no relatives to turn to for information, in which case you can base your eulogy on your impressions of them as a person.
There are no hard and fast rules – here are some suggestions about preparation and use our Guide to Public Speaking for more in depth tips. If the person was difficult or inordinately negative, avoid talking about that or allude to it gently.
Make sure you don’t say anything that would offend, shock, or confuse the audience.
You’re being asked to do something at the very moment when nothing can be done.
You get the last word in the attempt to define the outlines of a life.
You don’t have to be a great writer or orator to deliver a heartfelt and meaningful eulogy that captures the essence of the deceased.
For some people, the opportunity to speak during the funeral service about the person they knew is a welcome one – but many of us still do not realise this is possible and believe that eulogies are just for the famous.