Writing a eulogy for someone special is very difficult. The most often dished
out advice is to “just be yourself” and express your emotions in your own
personal way. However, there are times that we cannot find the right words to
truly describe our feelings. This lack of appropriate words in the speech result
to a eulogy that is boring or monotonous.
In order to come up with a eulogy that is both heartfelt and appealing to the
audience, you can refer to some famous eulogies for some pointers on how to come
up with a well-written speech.
The funeral eulogy by Jawaharlal Nehru for Mahatma Mohandas Ghandi was well
written by the latter’s protégé. It no longer provided biographical information
about their great leader but rather focused on the role played by Gandhi in
their lives, which is the “light”. And that although the life has been taken
from the man that is their source of light, this does not mean that his ideals
and all the things he stood out for should be remembered in vain. Nehru’s battle
cry was for strength and unity among the people as a way to honor their fallen
The eulogy delivered by Senator Robert F. Kennedy for Dr. Martin Luther King
was both compelling and forceful. The speech celebrated Dr. King’s efforts of
unifying the black people with the white people. At that time, segregation
between the races and outright racism was prevalent in the United States.
Senator Kennedy emphasized the non-violence movements espoused by Dr. King and
challenged his fellow Americans to do the same, whether they belong to the black
or the white race. The late Senator’s eulogy was short and poetic, but it was
successful in delivering its call for unity to symbolize the death of Dr. King.
Edward Champion’s eulogy for filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was on a more
personal level. He recalled his first encounter with the late director’s films
and his initial impression. That impression evolved into a solid respect for the
popular filmmaker. Notable in this speech is the high regard bestowed by
Champion on Kubrick’s works. His admiration was great that it affected the way
he worked as a filmmaker. This eulogy is a good example of how someone, not
necessarily a family member, can share his personal thoughts about another
person. It is both heartwarming and gracious to the dearly departed.
Senator Jacob Javits’ eulogy in honor of President John F. Kennedy was a long
speech but far from being boring. It was clearly a speech written by a friend to
another. Though he was President of America at the time he was assassinated, the
eulogy did not dwell on Kennedy’s achievements as Chief of Staff but rather how
he worked hard so that he could be an able leader to a powerful country. Javits
honored him for the man he is behind the most powerful desk in the Oval room.
The eulogy was a reminder that his death was also a loss involving a husband and
a father, the President being a family man at that time.
From these famous eulogy samples,
you can see that there is no black and white procedure in writing a funeral
speech. In other words, there is no right or wrong eulogy. What is important is
that you talk about the deceased on how you know him best – as a leader, a
friend, an idol or a family member. The flow of thoughts will come to you as
soon as you have an idea on what to concentrate on. The length of the eulogy is
not essential, but the depth of what you have to say must have an impact on the