A eulogy is a speech you write to pay honor to a loved one who passed away. Eulogies are often read during funerals or memorial services, posted to online memorial websites, and even shared on social media. Writing one can also be a difficult task to undertake.
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If you need to write a eulogy for a daughter, we first want to say how sorry we are for your loss. Facing the death of a daughter is a heartbreaking task, but you should know that you’re not alone. We’re here to provide you with resources and guidance every step of the way.
Steps for Writing a Eulogy for Your Daughter
Writing a eulogy should be approached in much the same way you write an obituary—one step at a time. Before getting into the steps below, it can be helpful to review instructions on how to write a eulogy. Try not to get overwhelmed, however. If you find yourself getting overloaded with information, hit the pause button, take some time away, then take a deep breath and continue the steps below.
1. Gather supplies and set up your space
The first part of eulogy writing involves a good amount of brainstorming and thinking about your daughter. You’ll also want to make notes of things you want to include in the eulogy. To prepare for your writing time, be sure to have a notebook and pen on hand to write down your thoughts. If you prefer writing digitally, make sure your computer, laptop, or smart device has plenty of battery power to last for a while.
In addition to supplies, you should also have a workspace that is calm and peaceful. You need some time alone without distractions, so silence your phone, don’t worry about the messy kitchen, light a candle, and create space for yourself to think.
2. Spend time brainstorming
This is where you start the hard work of creating the basic outline of a eulogy. When brainstorming, write down anything that comes to mind that you’d like to share in your speech.
So, what should go into a eulogy? You can write about things like:
- Significant moments during her life
- Special personality traits and qualities
- Life, career, and personal achievements
- Favorite memories you have of her
- Special quotes, poems, song lyrics, and religious texts that were important to her
- Funeral poems for a daughter
- A quote from something significant she said
Some examples of what you might write for each idea listed above include:
- “I’ll never forget her face when she crossed the finish line during her first marathon.”
- “She was the funniest person I’ve ever known. No matter how she was feeling, she always made everyone around her smile.”
- “She was such an animal lover. She never understood why we couldn’t adopt every stray dog in the neighborhood.”
- “She was so proud to lead her team to victory during the 2021 swim championship.”
- “Her brilliant smile was an outward reflection of her inner being. Even during her battle with cancer, she never stopped smiling, encouraging others, and being a beautiful shining star.”
More ideas to help you brainstorm include asking questions like these:
- Did she have a special talent?
- What was she passionate about?
- What were her life goals?
- Did she have a bucket list?
- Did she accomplish something she’d always dreamed of?
- Did she do something special no one knew about like volunteering?
3. Start to organize your notes
At this point, you’ve jotted down quite a few notes. Now you need to organize them into something of a timeline, outline, or theme. Try and place them in an order that makes logical sense for you. Here are a few outline styles:
- Childhood, teen years, adulthood
- Personality traits, special qualities, life accomplishments
- Significant moment, favorite memory, poem/quote
- Song lyrics, life accomplishments, a quote from your daughter
When organizing your notes, try to place your ideas in a logical sequence so their order makes sense and they flow together.
4. Ask for input (optional)
You may choose to write the entire eulogy yourself, and that’s okay. But if you want, now is the time to ask family members if there’s something they want to add. Perhaps your daughter’s father would like to add a special memory he has of their time together. Maybe a sibling would like to insert a quote of their sister’s or some way she made an impact on their life.
If the eulogy is a group project, make sure other members of the family are given time to offer input during the brainstorming process.
5. Write the first draft
Once you have your notes in order, it’s time to write your first draft. This is where you place your notes into context to create a speech. First drafts are always messy, with more words than you need, lines that don’t quite make sense, and ideas that you may want to remove later on. That’s what a first draft is all about.
Don’t worry about how it sounds right now. Don’t worry about spelling mistakes or proper grammar. Just write out your speech and connect your thoughts on paper. You’ll be able to go back and revise later on.
This is also a good time to choose one or two options for how to end the eulogy. You can make your final decision later on.
6. Hit the pause button
At this point in the process, you’ve done a lot of brainstorming and a good amount of writing. This is an emotionally intense process, and you may want to close your notebook or turn off your computer for a while. Self-care is important, and it’s a good idea to take a break from all the hard work if you have the time.
7. Write out the final draft
After you’ve taken a break, it’s time to finalize your speech. Read back over your first draft and ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the speech flow?
- Does it make sense?
- Is there anything I want to remove?
- Is there anything I want to add?
- Does it honor my daughter?
- Would my daughter be happy with my speech?
Once you’re happy with the overall flow, tone, and completeness of the eulogy, write it down on notecards. Notecards are easier to use when reading a speech than a page of printed text. They’ll help you keep track of your place, give you one portion to concentrate on at a time, and help you with pacing the speech. Number them so you can quickly get your speech in order in case the cards get dropped.
8. Practice the speech
Sharing a speech at a funeral or memorial service has a different feel from reading what you just wrote to a loved one or friend. Practicing reading through it will help you prepare to share it with a group. If possible, have someone listen to you sitting on the other side of the room you’re in while you do it.
When reading your speech, practice these things to help with the delivery.
- Pacing: Read slower than you think you should so everyone can hear what you say. If there are places where you want to pause for effect, practice these pauses.
- Enunciating: Practice speaking very clearly. There might be people in attendance who are hard of hearing, and clear enunciation will help them grasp what you have to say.
- Looking up: If you can, try looking up and at your audience from time to time. This action helps you connect with those who came.
- Timing: Most eulogies are between five and 10 minutes. If it’s much longer, you may want to work on editing it down.
Practice the eulogy as many times as you need until you’re comfortable and confident with the material and your delivery.
Eulogy for a Daughter Examples
The death of an adult child, young child, toddler, baby, or miscarried child is a heartbreaking experience. Sometimes reading some eulogy examples can help you get started writing one. Since most eulogies are quite long, we’ve included these short snippets to provide inspiration when writing a eulogy for your daughter.
For a daughter from a mother
On June 11th, I lost my daughter, my shopping buddy, and my best friend. Her father lost his fishing partner, and her brother lost his partner-in-practical-joking-crime. As a family, we lost a beautiful soul who brought joy to our world and laughter to our days.
I know many daughters aren’t close to their mothers, but Crystal and I were practically inseparable. From the time she was born, I knew we’d have a special bond and relationship.
For a daughter from a father
I know you’ll all agree when I say my Doodlebug was a special girl. She was feisty, full of life, and soaked up every minute on this earth. She always greeted me with the biggest smile when I got home from work.
I’ll never forget the way she looked, running out of the house to meet me as soon as I got out of my truck . . . pigtails flying behind her, looking straight at me as though I were the most important man in the world. If you knew her . . . she made you feel that way, too. Important. Loved. Cared about. Everyone was her best friend.
For a daughter-in-law
Many of you don’t know it, but after we had Jett, I got pregnant again. That time, it was with a little girl. Sadly, we lost her to a miscarriage and were unable to get pregnant again. My heart ached because of the hole that was left behind. Then, when Jett brought Stephanie home to meet us, it was as if that hole in my heart filled up. I knew Stephanie was the one for my son before they said their first “I love yous” to each other. Stephanie was the daughter I never had and I will miss her more deeply than I can possibly say.
For a daughter who died suddenly
Alyssa was full of life, goals, ambitions, and dreams. She loved her swim team and was proud to lead them to state championships last year. She was even more excited for a repeat this year. To each member of her swim team, she loved you all. I knew each of your names before I met you because she was so excited to have each of you on her team.
For a daughter who died after a long illness
Though her battle with cancer was long and painful, Sarah never wavered in her faith. She was strong until the end, encouraging those around her and helping others in treatment to focus on the small joys in life instead of the dreary days spent inside. Sarah leaves behind a legacy of taking joy in the small things, and I hope that together, we’ll each remember to enjoy every sunrise, marvel at every sunset, and take time to admire every flower that blooms in our path.
Honoring the Beautiful Life of Your Daughter
Delivering your daughter’s eulogy might be one of the hardest tasks you ever face, but it will be well worth it in the end. This is your opportunity to honor her life, uplift her memory, and promote her legacy to all in attendance. Share what made her special, what made her unique, and what made you so thankful that her presence graced your world.