Writing a eulogy in and of itself is significant — but you probably don’t need us to tell you that. Depending on who the eulogy is about will likely dictate the amount of pressure you put on yourself. When preparing to write a eulogy, you may feel pressed for time or exhausted.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Step 1: Get in the Right Mindset
- Step 2: Surround Yourself with Inspiration
- Step 3: Add Details That Count
- Step 4: Keep It Conversational
- Step 5: Write for Your Audience
- Step 6: Let Yourself Be Emotional
- Step 7: Take Your Time
- Short Eulogy Examples for a Father
Especially when you lose your father, writing a eulogy can feel like a daunting task. How can you pen a heartfelt speech about a relationship that goes back to birth? Summing up your bond with your father can be a fulfilling and honorable moment, and can provide poignant memories to share with your family.
You may not be sure of the right words, but we have some steps to help you prepare and find language that speaks directly from your heart.
Step 1: Get in the Right Mindset
When preparing to write a eulogy for your father, you may only have a short window prior to the memorial service. However, you can make the writing process easier on yourself by preparing yourself accordingly.
Pick a physical location to work in that makes you feel most comfortable. Grab your favorite beverage, listen to some music, and light a candle or get some fresh air. Treat the writing process as a manner of healing and as a way to express your feelings. If you work better at a certain time of day, make sure you schedule your writing time appropriately.
Step 2: Surround Yourself with Inspiration
Though you may be emotional, a eulogy may not be the time for you to express your personal frustrations about your father. On top of getting in the right mindset, you can also make the process easier by surrounding yourself with inspiration that helps you recall fond memories of your father.
Hold onto important mementos, wear one of his ballcaps, check out his photos from the military (and read our guide to writing a eulogy for a veteran) or even draft your eulogy in a location you and he used to frequent. These actions may inspire you of the good times with your father, and help you avoid sharing negative details about him or his death.
Step 3: Add Details That Count
Regardless of your father’s age upon passing, it’s likely he had a full, rich life. You may feel inclined to retell his life’s story, or conversely feel the need to leave some details out. Feel free to strike a balance between the two.
Make a list of your favorite memories of your dad, or ask other loved ones for their input. By adding in lighthearted content such as his favorite foods, places to shop, or hobbies, your audience will be delighted and reflect with you. Humor can be a good salve when dealing with the loss at hand.
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Step 4: Keep It Conversational
The tone and content of your eulogy matters. Add in some of your dad’s favorite sayings or “isms” in the eulogy to keep it personal and touching for both you and your audience. If it helps, direct a personal note to him in the eulogy.
This will likely make the writing process much easier. What you should focus on overall is how much you loved your dad and why. If you and he had a more difficult relationship, remember that there’s nothing wrong with referencing it.
However, keep your other family members in mind, as well as the lasting impact that words can have on others -- especially at something that occurs once, like a memorial service.
Step 5: Write for Your Audience
As mentioned above, remember your audience. If your dad cursed like a sailor or had some interesting party escapades, this may be fun content to share at an adult-only dinner party. However, at a memorial service for folks of different ages, it may not be a great idea to share details about your father’s less-than-savory or wild experiences.
To reiterate, a eulogy should be a positive thing. It may be the hardest thing you’ll ever have to write in your life, in particular, if it is about your father. You’ll have an easier time if you remind both yourself and your audience of all the joy your father brought to others or how his good actions inspired you and your family.
Step 6: Let Yourself Be Emotional
When both writing and delivering your eulogy, it’s ok to be emotional. Even the most talented public speakers will have a hard time capturing how much a person as important as a father means to them.
If you get choked up while writing or speaking, be sure to have another loved one by your side to step in or provide extra support. If you need extra help, read our tips for speaking at a funeral.
Step 7: Take Your Time
When writing a eulogy for a father, take your time and allow for pauses. Practice your eulogy to familiarize yourself with the cadence and flow. Let your audience absorb what you’re saying and let yourself feel it as well. Again, you probably won’t give this same eulogy more than once, so make it count.
Regardless, at such a poignant occasion, remember that you will be surrounded by loved ones who will support you during this trying time. In the end, the effort you put in matters more than whether the eulogy was “good” or ‘bad.”
Short Eulogy Examples for a Father
Whether you’re a daughter or a son, your message to your father may not be all that different. However, if you’re at a loss for what to say, check out the following examples for inspiration.
From a daughter
- “My father was my biggest role model and cheerleader — literally. He was always there to remind me not to cry, and helped me to laugh instead. God forbid if it was a boy who made me sad, because he made sure they had a stern talking-to, and that’s putting it lightly.”
- “I gave you a hard time during my teen years, but you never gave up on me. Even when I was at my worst, you set me straight. I sometimes got angry or embarrassed, but honestly, I couldn’t be more thankful. You wanted the best for me, and because of that, I won’t settle for less.”
- “My father never forced me into any sort of mold. He always taught me about his latest ‘improvements’ on his car or around the house. Dad always had the patience of a saint, but if his team was losing — forget it! I’ll promise to carry on his tradition of yelling at the screen, and will always tune into the NBA playoffs. Go Lakers!”
- “Dad always had a way of protecting me, even if at times it felt like it was the last thing I wanted him to do. Afterward, he made it a point to break things down to help me understand why he protected me. These lessons ultimately helped me to learn how to connect and empathize with people, and it was all thanks to him.”
- “Dad, though you won’t be there when I get married or have children of my own, I know that somehow you’ll be watching over us all. You were a large man that never made anyone else feel small, and for that reason, I’m so grateful to have called you ‘Dad,’ and to have had you in my life for even this long.”
From a son
- “Despite me not being the perfect athlete or the best listener, my father always remained patient. He accepted me for who I was, and even in his old age found ways to stay attuned to all the changes around him--which was amazing given that he still preferred to read the newspaper over reading it online. That being said, his adventurous spirit lives on in all of us. I can only hope to be that inspiring for my son.”
- “My dad was my best friend and my role model. I bust a gut laughing at his jokes, even when I felt like crying. And I cried a lot when I was younger, over skinned knees and over broken hearts. But every time, he put things into perspective. I was lucky to have had such a supportive father in my life, and I know he will still be around to remind me of the bright side of things when I’m feeling down. Even now, I’m still laughing.”
- “Dad, you were the world’s biggest sports fan, and you knew nearly every stat since the dawn of time. I may not have as good of a memory as you for that sort of thing, but I pride myself on being able to hit a home run off of your fastball.”
- “My dad was the strongest person I ever met, and still is, in my heart. He was the best example of a leader for me and my brothers. I will have a hard time learning to pave my own path now, but if anything I know that your daily recitations of “always do the right thing” and “try to be a better man” will ring in my head forever. You’ll always be guiding me the right way. Thanks, Dad. I love you.”
- “I know everyone knew my father as the biggest baseball fan, but one of my favorite pastimes was watching Golden Girls with him. Sorry, I said I wouldn’t share that. But now I can’t take him to a ball game, or even watch Blanche and the girls -- and that’s really hard. However, it’s difficult to not focus on the positives that he brought to so many people. And there’s no denying that we can probably hear his belly laugh all the way from heaven. I love you, Dad, and I miss you already.”
It’s About You and Your Father
How you choose to eulogize your father is not dependent on a specific formula. People won’t be focusing on your delivery and execution as a public speaker. But maybe your dad loved formulas and patterns and always taught you to write your essays as such.
Writing the perfect eulogy about your father is all about the love you had for him and that’s not going anywhere — regardless of space or circumstance.