What do the best eulogies have in common? Let’s make a quick list. The best funeral tributes:
- Include a personal touch.
- Offer a connection to the audience.
- Highlight a relationship between the speaker and the person who has passed away.
You might be able to think back on funerals you’ve attended in the past — what made the eulogy special? The relationship you have with the deceased can influence so much. A eulogy for an aunt can be incredibly emotional — this special person may have taken on a blended role of mother, caretaker, and friend. This special relationship is often unlike any other.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- 1. Consider Your Aunt’s Personality
- 2. Think About the Relationship with the Family
- 3. Include Good Memories
- 4. Be Conscious of Time
- 5. Make Sure Tone is Appropriate
- 6. Be an Engaged Speaker
- 7. Be Mindful of the Audience
- Example Lines for a Eulogy for an Aunt
It’s only natural that you’d want to be sure that the eulogy represents all of those wonderful things about your aunt and the bond she shared with you and other family members.
Here are a few quick tips that may help simplify and at the same time, help you create one of the most beautiful eulogies for your aunt that you possibly can.
Tip: Writing an obituary might be just one of the tasks you're facing for the first time after losing a loved one. For help prioritizing the rest, check out our post-loss checklist.
1. Consider Your Aunt’s Personality
One of the best things you can do is consider the personality of the deceased. Was your aunt a serious person who approached things methodically, or was she more of a free spirit?
Your aunt’s personality should shine through during the eulogy, so you want to be sure that the content includes memories that showcased who she was as a person. You may want to incorporate key memories or even a theme in order to bring some order to your thoughts.
2. Think About the Relationship with the Family
Part of the eulogy should also consider the relationship she had with other family members, including your mother or father. What was their childhood like? How did they interact? Those elements may influence the tone of the entire piece as well as the way that you choose to deliver it.
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3. Include Good Memories
Memories are such a critical part of a eulogy — this is how you can pay tribute to your aunt and also tell the story of her life. Include memories that you shared with her, as well as other memories with other close family and friends.
Remember, the memories can be diverse and spread across various periods of her life. In fact, why not tell stories in a chronological order that explains what she did with her life? Don’t be afraid to blend a series of funny, touching, or even sad memories that help people understand the type of person that she was and the influence she had on the world.
4. Be Conscious of Time
There are no time requirements for a eulogy. However, you should have a general idea of how long the entire funeral will be. You want to be aware of the time so that everything runs right on schedule.
Walk the line between giving a thorough and thoughtful eulogy without making the funeral service last much longer than people may anticipate.
5. Make Sure Tone is Appropriate
The tone of one eulogy may be very different based on the person that it is being spoken for and about. Sometimes eulogies are light-hearted and comedic, while others are very serious and somber. Consider your aunt’s personality as you try to decide the appropriate tone for the message you are about to convey.
6. Be an Engaged Speaker
Speaking at a funeral is somewhat of an art. You want to be sure that you maintain proper eye contact, speaking loudly enough so everybody can hear, and making sure that comedic or serious moments are spoken at the right moment — timing is everything. While this is certainly a more personal message, you should remember all the tips you’ve received about public speaking in general.
Don’t forget to introduce yourself so that the audience is aware of your close relationship. If there are any extra details in the eulogy, such as a certain song playing in the background, then you’ll want to be sure to explain its significance as well.
7. Be Mindful of the Audience
You’ll want to be mindful of the audience when you plan the eulogy. Will there be a lot of restless children in the audience? Are there some hard-of-hearing guests? If so, you’ll want to be sure that you’ve planned for such situations. You may want to take a moment to include a few lines about how to talk to kids about death to bring some peace of mind to the younger attendees.
Be prepared to wait a few moments before starting to allow people to get to their seats and for the room to quiet down. Be sure that everybody has the opportunity to hear what you have to say. You may also want to consider ending the eulogy with some tips on how to offer condolences to other family members and friends.
While there is certainly no set time limit for a eulogy, some people say that 10 to 15 minutes is usually long enough to speak thoroughly without losing your audience’s attention. Keep this in mind as you plan the eulogy.
Example Lines for a Eulogy for an Aunt
Here are a few sample pieces you may want to include in the eulogy you create. You can use these examples as inspiration to help you get started on the process.
Remember, you don’t have to write out the entire speech word for word. However, a simple outline may help you stay on track and remember important highlights.
- “‘Death ends a life, not a relationship.’ This quote has helped me come to peace with the passing of Aunt Margaret. Although she is no longer here in earthly form, I know our memories together live on.”
- “Thank you, everyone, for coming here today to help us celebrate the life of Susan Smith. My name is Deborah, and Susan was my aunt. We all called her Aunt Sue.”
- “Aunt Lisa was a kind-hearted woman who lived to help others around her. If she wasn’t volunteering to help feed the homeless, she was at home knitting sweaters for them. She made it her life mission to help those who needed it the most.”
- “My earliest memory of Aunt Kathy was when she took me to the zoo when I was about three years old. She loved the monkeys, and I remember how we lingered there as she read all of the information out loud to me. She wanted me to learn about something she loved — and I’ll never forget her patience and joy at that moment.”
- “Aunt Esther was born in a tiny town in Southern Texas. Her childhood was not a lavish one, but she always said she was rich with family and friends. Looking around this room today, I would say that she pegged that appropriately. Many of us have come from near and far to celebrate the life of this dear, sweet soul.”
- “I have decided to have ‘Amazing Grace' play in the background as I speak today because Aunt Laura said that this was the most beautiful song ever written. I don’t think any of us can ever listen to it without thinking of her and how she herself was full of grace.”
- “As I close this out today, I want all of us to consider the life and legacy of Aunt Marla. She would have wanted us to remember her, but not with tears in our eyes or sadness in our hearts. She would want us to think of her and smile.”
Write with a Purpose
Writing a eulogy is a great honor in itself. Being chosen as the person who will say the final words about a dear loved one is certainly a special gift. Consider the advice we’ve outlined here to help guide you in the appropriate direction.
It’ll help you, your family and friends celebrate the life of your aunt and it’ll also offer some comfort and maybe even closure for those who need to hear it.