Guide To Help You Write A Funeral Speech

How to present a message at the funeral of a loved one with tips for the first-time speaker.

When someone close to us dies, often the last thing we can imagine doing is summoning up the courage and self-control to speak at their funeral.The death of a loved-one brings grief, fear, and shock, among other things.Even if the death wasn't a surprise, the pain often robs us of our ability to think, let alone speak, clearly.Our emotional reactions may be expected, but often the physical reactions surprise us.Yet, if we are able, speaking at a funeral can be a privilege and a way to say good-bye and have closure with the person you've lost; it can also be a way of letting the world know how important the person was to you.

If you find yourself in the position of needing to speak at a funeral, whether for one of your loved ones or someone who was merely an acquaintance, following are some tips to help you plan your speech, and get you through an otherwise difficult day.

1. Get help.When planning your funeral speech, your emotions might be raw and your mind reeling, so it helps to seek the counsel of others.Talk to your friends and family members and ask for suggestions, thoughts about the deceased, and fond or funny memories.

2. Stay positive.Funerals can be a wonderful time to remember the person fondly with anecdotes and remembrances of his or her personality and lifestyle, but avoid judgments or negativity.If you have issues, the funeral is not the place to air them out.Talk about the good aspects of the person's life and how he touched others.Tell about his goals that were attained or the good that he did.Talk about his positive impact on others.

3. Share humor.Don't be afraid to laugh and to cause others to laugh.There will be plenty of tears and grief, but often a funeral is a wonderful outlet to remember a person fondly and laugh about a funny occasion or pleasant time when he was alive, or something funny he said or did.

4. Be real.Share your heart and don't be afraid to let others know how much the person meant to you.Talk about things that others may not know.Talk about how this affects you.

5. Use props, if appropriate.Feel free to share photos of the deceased, artwork or writings he might have done, or letters he wrote to you or someone else.It can be very comforting to hear the written words of the person who has died.

6. Don't be afraid to cry.One of the biggest fears of people who are asked to speak at a funeral is that they'll begin to cry and be unable to go on.That's ok.Funerals are a form of public grieving, meant to allow us to gather together and support one another in our grief.If you break down and cry, everyone in the room will understand and have compassion for you.If you can regain your composure and go on, then by all means, do what you can; but if you must stop in the middle of your speech, no one will fault you for it.

7. Say good bye.This is the time for closure and farewells.End your speech with good wishes for the family and a good bye to the one who has gone on.

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