The day a sibling dies, a part of us dies along with that brother or sister. The most important and happy memories of your childhood -- playing, fighting and supporting each other are what is left to you. The pain of losing a brother or sister almost cannot be described in words. But, to give a final tribute to them, you need to make sure that you are writing a eulogy that is not just perfect but encompasses all the best moments of the life of his or her life. You want to let the world know that your sibling was special and the world has suffered a loss at their passing.
And to do that, you need to write their funeral speech to the best of your ability. You will want to begin by taking a look at some examples of eulogies on the internet. And when you have a clear structure in mind, you can then follow the suggested guidelines given below on how to write a eulogy for a brother or sister to make the memorial speech perfect.
The opening of the Eulogy:
When writing a eulogy, whatever you decide to say, always remember that the first thing you should mention is the name of your brother or sister. The funeral speech and the service are about them. It is best if you start by saying their name instead of centering it on yourself. One of the obvious eulogy examples for this opening sentence might be “Juliet was my sister” or “John was my brother” instead of “I am the brother/sister of Juliet/John”. This way, the focus begins recognizing them. The sentences are subtle, but important if your memorial speech is to be as it should.
The next thing that you need to do is to write a few sentences summarising your relationship with your sibling. This can mention how he/she used to tease you in childhood, play with you or enjoy when you were being scolded by mom or dad but how he/she always supported you whenever you needed them childhood to adulthood. Keep one thing in mind that, while it is imperative to include a small intro of your memories from childhood, you should not go in depth - just touch on them. The important personal memories are for a bit later in your memorial speech. So keep this portion brief.
Another thing that you should do is to list the names of your family members near the beginning of the eulogy. Only include a few important names in the funeral speech; parents, his/her children/stepchildren and spouse(s), and other people that were close to them like closest friends etc. People, when writing a eulogy, sometimes miss this step but it is an integral part and you will find it in almost all of the eulogy examples out there. Naming those close to your sister or brother gives encouragement to those mentioned and recognizes their loss.
Include Some of Your Personal Memories:
Now comes the part of the memorial speech where you can include the personal memories with your brother/sister in detail. If you were very close to them, you should include a specific memory something you did together. Choose something that is heartwarming and has some appropriate humour (if that seems appropriate). The reason to include some light and appropriate humour is to help take the edge off of a very emotional experience for everyone. You can also include something that shows the values that your brother/sister held onto throughout their life like was he/she helpful in different works done in your home, did he/she work overtime to take care of the family, did he/she use to spend time with family or extended family, etc.
If you want to highlight the kind of person your brother/sister was, you should include the important traits of their life. You might want to ask family members to share some memories of your brother/sister with you so you can include one or two of those. By getting input from family members your memorial speech will have some different voices and perspectives.Writing a eulogy with personal traits as the main theme pay the best possible tribute to your loved one.
Include His/her Accomplishments:
You need to include some of your sibling’s important achievements in life. When writing a eulogy, it is not just about saying good things about one’s life, it is also about telling of the good things they achieved in life. Any funeral speech would be incomplete without a list of major accomplishments (although fewer than a resume might have).
You can include things like the milestones they achieved in college. Perhaps they were a prominent part of their fraternity or maybe the leader or the things they achieved in their career. You should also include the accomplishments or hobbies that may not be known to the guests present like winning an award in some sports, going for scuba diving or anything else. This will further help the funeral guests in interpreting what kind of person your brother or sister were and will serve as a perfect tribute. Just make sure to include the important things that you feel people should know, as you need to keep your funeral speech to a reasonable length.
Convert the Draft to Final Copy:
Once you are done writing a eulogy, you need to proofread it at least two to three times to make sure it does not have any mistakes or errors or awkward phrasing. Here again, take a look at some eulogy examples from the internet to see if your structure is correct. Once done, it is best to ask someone close to the deceased to read it. This way, you will get a second opinion and that may help you include or exclude some things that are either unnecessary or inappropriate. Once you are done with the editing and proofreading procedure of the eulogy, print it out double space with a fairly large font.
Practice, Practice, Practice:
Writing a eulogy is just the first hard part of preparation for honoring your loved one. The second is delivering it and the most important ingredient for a great delivery is extensive practice. Because room for error is always present when you are writing a eulogy as you can correct it later. But if you are delivering it needs to be right. Because any public speaking is stressful and speaking at a sibling’s funeral service has emotion added to the stress, you must prepare well so that speaking the eulogy becomes almost automatic.
Practice in front of a mirror: This is an easy approach to practice. You just need to stand in front of a mirror and practice while looking yourself in the eye in the same way you will be making eye contact with the audience.
Practice while videotaping yourself: Everyone has video taping ability on their cameras. Use it. Watch yourself deliver the eulogy. After taping, review it critically and correct what you don’t like. Repeat the process until you “perform” perfectly.
Practising in front of someone: This the best method of rehearsing the memorial speech. You can ask a family member or a close friend to observe you while you are delivering the funeral speech and note down your mistakes. You can then ask them about the things they felt should be improved -- like tone, speed of speaking, and eye contact, etc.
Once you are done practising the eulogy, it’s time to deliver it.
Delivering of the Eulogy:
Delivering a memorial speech is an art but, an easy one to master. Be confident. You can do this.
Have a Hard Copy:
Bring a copy of the speech with you and don’t just go there with everything in your mind or on your cell phone (very tacky). Standing at a podium can make you forget things. And at that time, the only thing that will save you is a written copy of your memorial speech. You can take some cards instead of a paper if you prefer. This will make it easier for you to just read from the small cards one by one if you forget your speech instead of finding the line where you got stuck in a long manuscript.
Always bring a bottle of water with you. It will help you relax if you start to get too emotional and your throat starts to feel dry. This way, you will are easily able to take a few seconds as you pause and drink the water and calm your nerves.
Have a backup Eulogist:
What will happen if you have a breakdown during your eulogy and are not able to complete it? A backup speaker can rescue you in that situation, and he/she can continue from where you left off. Ask a friend or family member to be your backup speaker. Also, you might want to reference another article: how to avoid becoming emotional when delivering a eulogy to help you avoid breaking down during the funeral speech.
Always remember that the person you are writing a eulogy about is your sibling and they deserve the best tribute in the shape of a perfect memorial speech, make sure to do a little research and see some eulogy examples to get the gist of what structure you should follow. And remember, it is all about them, so write everything related to their life, just mention yourself when you write the personal memories section. Lastly, practice as much as you can and avoid getting emotional while delivering your funeral speech.
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