Writing a eulogy for Grandpa
When a grandparent dies, it feels like part of our own childhood dies along with them. The pain of their loss can be intense, especially to those who are still young. Losing a grandparent can often be our first experience of losing someone and is a reality check that our life on this earth is limited. During this difficult time, you may be asked to give a eulogy for your grandpa. This can be a daunting task, but it is important to honor your grandfather's life and memories in the best possible way.
In this post, we’ll talk about 4 steps to writing a beautiful eulogy for your grandad.
1. Gather memories of and stories about your granddad
When considering what to say in your grandfather's eulogy, think about his life story. What were some of the most memorable moments you shared with him? What made him special? What did he love to do? What kind of person was he? What were his best qualities?
Gather and write down all of these thoughts and the memories you have of your grandpa. Make a list of his best qualities and record some memorable moments. If this is too difficult for you to do alone, ask others who knew him well to share their stories and memories.
An effective way to capture all of the memories of your granddad is by creating a timeline of his life and adding photos, videos and short stories. This can be done with an online memorial platform like Memories. For a small, one-off fee, you can create a personalized timeline of their life and upload your own photos, videos and stories. This can then be shared with friends and family to add their own memories in whatever format they want.
Many memories of your grandpa may not be in digital form, however it’s easy to digitize photos and other memories with a smartphone. As a grandchild, you may be more digital savvy than many of your family, so don’t be afraid to suggest this and help your family with the process of digitizing any physical photos and adding them onto his online memorial timeline.
This process will no doubt spark ideas of what you should include in your eulogy.
2. Organize and highlight what you want to include in your eulogy
After gathering memories and thoughts of your grandpa, organize them into categories such as hobbies & interests, favorite sayings & quotes, family life, important events in his life and anything else you think strongly speaks to his character and your recollection of him.
Once organized, think about how each category reflects on your grandfather's personality traits. What are the things he loved most-- what was special about them? How did they shape him? What made him unique?
Finally, create an outline of the key points you want to say in the introduction, body and closing (see below for details). This will help to make sure that your eulogy flows smoothly from one topic to another.
Be clear on the tone of voice you want to deliver with each part of the speech. In some cases you will want to be sensitive, however you may want to present some humor if that’s part of your granddad’s character.
3. Write your eulogy from the heart
The time you spend on preparing and gathering your grandfather’s memories and information will mean that your writing should flow naturally. So get started with a first draft and don't think about it too much, just write. Consider creating it as if grandad was present in the room and that every word would be heard by him directly. This will help you to write it from the heart, be authentic and honest in your words and make the eulogy more meaningful and memorable.
You can write your eulogy in a bullet point list or write it out as paragraphs. Think about how each paragraph flows into the next and that your tone of voice stays consistent throughout the eulogy.
Once you have created a draft, go back over it and make sure it's structured correctly with an introduction, body and closing statement.
In the introduction, be sure to introduce yourself and your relationship with your grandfather. But keep it brief, as you’ll want to focus on your grandad.
In the body of the eulogy, you’ll want to talk about the life of your grandad. Consider key life events such as:
Place of birth and where he grew up
Education, travel, work and marriage
The family he helped to create (children, grandchildren etc..)
Hobbies, achievements and place in the community
After talking about his life events, move onto Grandpa as a person. Who was he and what were his shining characteristics? Relate this to any memories that you have of him or that another family member has shared with you. A story that represents who he is will help people to relate as they will have their own similar stories.
Before you move onto the final summary, talk about the legacy they left behind. This would have been indirectly highlighted already in the stories and memories you shared.
End the eulogy by thanking others who were important to your grandpa, including relatives and friends as well as those who helped care for him during his final days or weeks on this earth such as medical professionals or hospice volunteers.
You can finish with a final quote or characteristic that sums up your grandad for people to take away.
If you have created an online memorial of your grandpa, invite others to contribute their own memories of him on his timeline. If it’s on Memories.net, you can mention to visit this site and search his name in the search box (see below). Or ask them to email or text you so you can share it with them directly.
4. Practice by reading the eulogy aloud
When you are finished writing the eulogy and you are happy with it, read your eulogy aloud or to a close friend or family member as it always helps to get another perspective. This will help ease any nerves and ensure that everything flows smoothly on the day of the funeral service.
5. Review and edit
Review and edit your eulogy until you are satisfied with the outcome. There are free tools online that can help you refine and make your content better by getting rid of hard-to-read sentences or complex words, such as the Hemingway App.
While the eulogy is all about your grandad, it should also bring some comfort to those he left behind.
6. Delivering your eulogy
When delivering your eulogy, it's ok to read it from a printed copy if that makes you feel more comfortable. However remember to make eye contact with your audience as you will want to connect with others in the room.
The most important thing to remember is to be yourself when delivering your grandfather's eulogy-- after all, he would have wanted nothing less than the real you speaking about him at his funeral.
We wish you all the best in writing and delivering your eulogy and hope this eulogy writing guide was useful for you.