When you're writing a tribute to a father, many images can come to mind. Maybe your dad was a provider, a teacher, a friend, a pillar of strength, a role model, a leader, an exemplary man or husband... the list goes on. A father plays various roles for his children during his lifetime.
Writing a tribute to your father is a chance for you to honor him, praise him and celebrate the life he lived. It’s also an opportunity for you to appreciate his role in your life and the relationship you nurtured with him through the years.
What is a tribute?
A tribute is any act that expresses gratitude or respect. Anything from the playing of his favorite song, to an online memorial for your dad, represents a tribute. And unlike a eulogy that’s usually delivered during a funeral, tributes can be read or given at any time.
That means you can give your deceased father a tribute on any special occasion, like family reunions, holiday gatherings, his birthday, or the anniversary of his death. You can think of a tribute as a gift that you give to your dad as a way to convey your appreciation and admiration.
Tips for writing a great tribute to Dad
Start with a theme. The theme will help you set the direction of your tribute. It can be humorous and light-hearted, religious, sentimental or artistic. Artistic tributes usually include poems, songs and dances.
Give a specific introduction. It can be about your relationship with him, how he was with his friends and coworkers, or his special skills. Think of one or two positive traits that you remember about your father and narrate two specific circumstances that prove these traits.
Tell a story. A tribute isn’t an obituary where you just list the person’s biographical details and accomplishments. It should tell a story about your father’s life, about the kind of relationship that you have with him, and about the good things he has done for you. Think of the ways he made a positive impact in your life.
Make a list of all his good characteristics. Remember that a tribute is also a way for you to praise your late father. Think of all the good things he did in his lifetime. What were his career accomplishments? How did he help others? What were his passions and personal projects? What were the greatest life lessons he taught you? How has helped you overcome challenges in your career or personal life? Of course, you'll want to avoid including negative details or family secrets that might embarrass his memory. Stick with the positives, and go into as much detail as you like about them.
Choose your voice. There are two ways you can write your tribute. You can write as if you’re talking or writing directly to your father, or you can write it from the point of view of a narrator who is telling a story about him. Think carefully about the tone you want to use for the tribute, too: will it be humorous, heartfelt, or something else entirely?
End with a message. Tributes are usually ended with a message of love and thanks to your father. This is also the time to express appreciation for others who were a part of your father’s life — those who helped your father or made his life better.
After you give a tribute, people will often approach you to tell you anecdotes about your father. Don't let those memories fade: preserve them forever in an online memorial. You can invite family and friends to share their stories of your father there, too. It's a great way to bring together the people who loved your dad, and you might just hear a few untold stories along the way.