Losing a partner is one of the greatest losses any of us can ever experience. You have a lot going on right now. From funeral preparations to mourning, your plate is full. Even if your husband left you with a solid end-of-life plan in place, there are still a ton of moving parts. Let us support you in slowing down and taking things step by step.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Step 1: Set The Tone
- Step 2: Consider Your Audience
- Step 3: Do Some Research
- Step 4: Personalize
- Step 5: Prepare & Practice
- Examples of Eulogies for Husbands
It might be challenging to consider writing a eulogy, let alone standing up and reading it aloud at the funeral. It is completely understandable to have a whole host of emotions right now. Your grief might be mixed with fear of public speaking or even a lack of motivation to get writing.
Allow yourself to feel anything that comes up, and when you are ready, here is some guidance to support you through writing your husband’s eulogy. (For more help with all of the complicated tasks you might be facing after losing a loved one, check out our post-loss checklist.)
Step 1: Set The Tone
When we say “set the tone,” we mean two things:
Get into the right headspace. You may be feeling sad, overwhelmed, and unmotivated. Self-care during this time couldn’t be more important. What kinds of things might help you relax?
If you like taking baths, consider drawing a bath, lighting some candles, and putting on your favorite music. Once you’re in the bath, close your eyes and breathe. If you can reach a moment of relaxation, great. If not, that’s okay. Try your best to stay present. Focus on the smells, the sensation of the warm water on your skin, and the sound of the instruments.
You can use your whole time in the bath to just be still, or once you reach a point of relaxation, perhaps start thinking of what you might want to include in your husband’s eulogy.
If a bath isn’t your thing, there are lots of other options — going for a run, doing a yoga class, or maybe it’s just sitting quietly with someone you love. Anything that can help you relax and clear some headspace, even for just a moment, is the perfect choice.
When you’re ready to write, have your favorite warm beverage nearby and pick a peaceful spot where you’ll be undisturbed.
Next, consider what you want to express in your eulogy. Now that you feel slightly more relaxed and your mind is a bit clearer, think about what tone you want to set.
Do you want your eulogy to be a celebration of your partner’s life and legacy? Do you want your friends and family to both laugh and also cry? Or would you rather your eulogy be more a testament to the gravity of your loss?
There are no right answers. The story and message you want to convey is entirely up to you.
Feeling stuck? Try asking yourself what your partner might want to hear in a tribute speech if they were listening in. Also, consider what you most want your friends and family to be left with once the funeral is over. You knew your husband best. How can you best share his essence with others?
Step 2: Consider Your Audience
There aren’t many other occasions where you will have such a large and diverse group of people from your life all in one room. You are — in a way — hosting a group of people some you may have never even met before.
Make sure you consider this when writing your husband’s eulogy. It’s probably a good idea to leave out the risqué stories that his college friends would love, but colleagues might not appreciate.
Funerals also often include both children and elderly adults. As you’re drafting your speech, think about the things you wouldn’t say in front of your own children or grandparents. Leave those things out, or create an alternative eulogy to be shared at a different time with a small group of close friends.
Step 3: Do Some Research
If you’ve landed on this post, you’ve likely already begun this step. There are many examples of eulogies on the internet. Perhaps start by reading some to garner some inspiration.
This is also a good time to collect any quotes, poems, or religious passages you would like to include in your eulogy.
Step 4: Personalize
Now that you’re in the right headspace, have set the tone, considered your audience, and done your research, it’s time to start writing. Add in personal details that will help your family and friends reflect on your husband’s life. Here are some ideas for things to include. None of this is at all mandatory. Take inspiration for what you want to include, and leave the rest behind.
- Start with an outline. Think about how you want the eulogy to flow. What kinds of things will you start and end with? Jot down where you want to put different memories, quotes, or any poems you’ll be using. Consider how long you want it to be.
- Describe the qualities you want everyone to remember about your husband. Earlier we spoke about sharing his essence through your speech. Start to jot down the qualities you most loved about him. Think about what made him special. Why did you choose him as your partner?
- Pick stories and memories. As you comb through your lives together, start to write down some of your favorite memories together. Think about what stories your husband loved to share about his life. Use these stories and memories to illustrate the personality traits and qualities you want to remember.
- Sprinkle in some laughs. Only if you feel up to it, of course. Share funny stories or some of your husband’s quirks that always made you and your loved ones laugh. Is there some quality that is quintessentially him that everyone knows about? That is sure to draw a chuckle. A little bit of comic relief can go a long way. It is nice to remember joyous moments on such a sorrowful occasion.
- Describe details of his legacy. You can start with where your husband was born, details about the family that raised him, childhood friends, and his alma mater. Discuss his career and any achievements that he had. Talk about any of your children or other family and friends he inspired. Consider the mark he leaves on the world.
Step 5: Prepare & Practice
Once you’ve completed the writing stage of your eulogy, prepare yourself and calm any nerves you have by practicing.
Read it out loud and make edits. It’s always a good idea when you finish your final draft to read it out loud. This way, you can catch any style issues that sounded good in your head but don’t translate well to the spoken word. It’s easier to find mistakes when you’re reading it out loud, and you don’t want to get tripped up on any errors when you’re giving the speech in real-time.
This is also the perfect time to practice enunciating and figuring out when is the most natural time to take pauses. Because this is probably the most emotional speech of your life, having a written copy to read at the funeral with designated spaces to pause is a smart idea.
Consider asking a trusted loved one to listen to your speech and give you any feedback. Practicing in front of someone is super helpful.
Choose one person to be your person. Choose someone who will be there at the funeral that you know can be there for you while you read the eulogy. Let them know ahead of time.
Get their permission, and tell them exactly what you think you’ll need from them. It might be a smile or a nod to encourage you. You can choose to make eye contact with them the whole time for some comfort. Perhaps, if you’re afraid you might fall apart, create a hand signal, so they know to jump in and finish the speech for you.
Decide ahead of time what you want to wear. If your husband’s wish was that everyone attends his funeral wearing bright colors, choose something you know he’ll love. Otherwise, we always advise dressing simply and comfortably.
This is another good time to consider your audience — as aforementioned, your husband’s colleagues and college friends will likely all be in the room together. Think about what would be an appropriate outfit to wear with a diverse group of people.
Examples of Eulogies for Husbands
Now that you’ve read through the steps on how to write a eulogy for your husband, here are some excerpts from eulogies that you can use for inspiration.
Alex and I met at a college party on a hot summer night decades ago — what now feels like a lifetime away. He had a guitar with him. He joked that he didn’t know how to play, but then obliged me with a song. His talent and passion for music were enough to sweep any girl off her feet. Paired with his humor — I’m sure you all remember this sarcastic, yet loving wit. He was so funny and quick, and don’t get me started on his impressions. If you closed your eyes, you would truly believe you were sitting in a room with Barack Obama and Christopher Walken. There wasn’t a day that went by when Alex didn’t make us all laugh.
Even at the office, Alex’s many colleagues relied on him for an empathetic ear and a good laugh. If I couldn’t reach Alex at work, it’s because he was hauled up in a conference room somewhere figuring out how to elevate the work, and most importantly, the human beings on his team.
That’s the kind of man Alex was — brilliant, reliable, compassionate, and generous.
When Jack and I first started dating, I told him not to get too comfortable. Life had made me a cynic — I didn’t believe in that true love, fairytale stuff. When my parents asked if I was seeing anyone, I told them there was this guy I was dating but that they would definitely never meet him. But Jack was persistent. You all know how persistent Jack was.
In fact, Jack was so persistent, that not only did he steal my heart — and boy did he ever — he also made his way from office assistant to CEO. Now that took a lot of convincing.
That was our Jack. He never stopped fighting for what he believed in. He was a workhorse — the kind of guy that put his head down and got the job done. Yet even as he led his company to success, when he came home to Daniel and Allison he was the most fun-loving and engaged dad.
“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”
Jack lived an unbelievable life. He touched the lives of thousands of people through his business, his travel, and most importantly his relationships. He made everyone feel like family, and the kids and I are lucky to have the biggest family in the world thanks to Jack.
Rob and I had been dating less than a month when I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I was in hysterics over an argument with a friend, and he quietly took my hands in his and listened. This love and calmness breathed life into everyone who knew him.
Nobody was surprised when he became a nurse. He has always cared for everyone around him.
He grew up in a small house, the oldest of five children. His dad passed away from cancer a few months after his youngest sister was born. His mom was his hero.
Rob’s mom taught him everything, including how to clean, which I have been ever so grateful for. One time he didn’t do the dishes, and so she left them in his bed. He did the dishes every day of his life after that. Thanks for that, Jean!
Most importantly, Jean taught Rob the gift of giving and living in God’s grace. To quote John 15:12-13: “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Rob demonstrated this every day of his life in his work at the hospital and in his devotion to his dear friends and family many of whom are here celebrating his life today.
Enlist Loved Ones to Help Out
If you still feel stuck, ask your friends and family to send their favorite memories and quotes. Use the stories and quotes you love, and draw inspiration from them to write some of your own words too.
There are no perfect words to describe a man’s life. The most important thing you can do is write from the heart. What will be most moving and memorable is to hear about your husband through your eyes.