When you go to a funeral or memorial service for a person you know, you listen to the minister and to the family as they present eulogies and you sometimes come away wondering just who it was they were talking about. If you had known THAT person, you’d have considered yourself as one of the most fortunate people on earth. They were, apparently, in line for sainthood. But that’s the nature of a eulogy. You want (expect) to hear all the good things about the dearly departed on that day of memories and emotion.
But you’ve known people who are just too mean or too opinionated or too ornery to have much good said about them. What happens then? How do you eulogize a person nobody liked? You want to say good things, but there is so little to say. At the least you can probably say he supported his family or held a job for a certain number of years or loved his community.
Fortunately, trying to eulogize a person you didn’t like in life can be made a lot easier with the services of professional eulogy writers who have seen it all. Here are a few clues from the professional eulogy writers at TheEulogyWriters.com
You Have to Use a Different Vocabulary
The typical eulogy begins with comments about what a great person has just died. It has a sense of loss and perhaps sorrow. It might read something like this: “Max Johnson was one great guy. He was my best friend for 22 years and I’ve always considered myself blessed for having known him…” But, of course, a eulogy for a person who was generally not a nice person – not a good, upright, ‘great guy,’ has to be different. What can you say?
First of all, don’t lie in the eulogy you present – but it is unseemly to say bad things about the recently departed. So you say something like, “I’ve known Jack most of my life. We didn’t always get along – in fact, I suppose we had more conflicts than times of harmony. Jack always believed he was right – that his way was the best way. He tended to march to the beat of a different drummer. You all know that’s true. Jack wasn’t a saint…”
Then you need to back off that kind of thought pretty quickly and say some positive things about good ole’ Jack. Begin by telling stories about things he did or things he said. “I remember once, a decade or so ago, when Jack was out camping with his son Jim and our Scout troop. Jack wanted to impress Jim with his outdoorsman’s ability so he trooped into the woods to get some fire wood. He came back with some great wood. He patiently built a fire and before long we had a roaring fire courtesy of Jack. It was pretty impressive and Jack was proud of himself. But the next morning Jack discovered that he picked up more than fire wood out there in the woods. He was practically scratching his skin off from all the Poison Ivy he touched…” Or, “Jack had a great sense of humor. It wasn’t always for mixed company, but he loved to tell jokes. And that laugh of his… You just had to laugh with him even what he was saying was way off-color…”
Telling true stories, putting a positive twist on them, is probably the best policy. People in attendance will know you are speaking the truth and will appreciate the memories and the stories and the interpretation or positive twist you put on them. Some of the other guests have their own stories and may well be inspired to now see all that Jack was in a different light. Maybe Jack was an S.O.B. but still we can have good memories where he is concerned. What can be wrong with that? It’s OK to Stretch or Spin the Truth in a Eulogy or Memorial Speech when doing so provides alternative memories in the minds and hearts of guests.
When eulogizing someone you’re not crazy about, you don’t want to outright lie and say they were the best person ever, but an artful spin is not a bad thing. Don’t be afraid to stretch the truth just a bit to help make it a better memory for the people attending the funeral.
No matter how difficult it may be to write a eulogy for someone who was not a good person, it can be done. If you truly can’t find something neutral to write about them, it may be best to not have a eulogy or pass the task of writing one to someone else. If you need help, of course, you can always contract the job out to TheEulogyWriters.com We will be happy to help you write that difficult eulogy. ------------------ Search words: eulogy for a person you don’t like, eulogy for a disliked person, eulogy for a mean man, eulogy writing for a despised person, memorial speech writing, write a eulogy, saying nice things about bad people, funeral speech for a disliked person, memorial speech for a disliked person, speaking well of the dead, how to write a eulogy.
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