It’s unlikely that the next time you sit down that it’ll be to write a funeral speech, let alone one for your dad. Regardless of your dad’s death came suddenly or health decline or other circumstances allowed for end-of-life planning, the process isn’t any easier.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Step 1: Treat It as Part of Your Healing Process
- Step 2: Create a Good Environment
- Step 3: Write Down Some Key Points
- Step 4: “Call” Your Dad
- Step 5: Take Breaks
- Step 6: Keep It Authentic
- Examples of Eulogies for Dads From His Daughter
But, you can take a bit of pressure off of yourself by reading some tips and examples. You should also rest in the fact that your eulogy for your father should just be you talking about your love for him — it doesn’t have to be formal or frilly.
Though you may be unsure about all of the words you choose, your dad would probably love all of them just the same. After all, you are his daughter. Below, we’ve provided the steps you need to write a meaningful tribute speech for your dad. And, you’ll also find a few examples and additional resources to use as inspiration or a jumping-off point.
COVID-19 tip: If you're speaking at a virtual funeral using a service like GatheringUs, you can still share your thoughts or eulogy with your online guests. Coordinate with your planning team, make sure you have the right microphones and audio equipment, and send online guests digital funeral programs with the full speaking schedule.
Step 1: Treat It as Part of Your Healing Process
Though it may hurt, healing can begin even before your father’s memorial service. Healing will not occur without some proper preparation, of course, and your funeral speech won’t write itself, either.
Everyone heals differently. But, to move past the worst feelings you’re experiencing surrounding your dad’s death, you have to let yourself feel them. In fact, a big part about becoming death positive is getting comfortable thinking about death and everything that comes with it, no matter your belief system.
Starting your funeral speech may have to wait until you’ve written some other things out. You don’t have to write in any formal structure or create thought clouds or whatever you learned in elementary school. You may simply choose to scribble out emotions or recurring thoughts until they become clear.
Recognizing your feelings and your pain will also help you tackle them head-on, rather than let them defeat you. Cry or yell them out even though it may be scary. Don’t bury them.
Step 2: Create a Good Environment
After you’ve had some time to hash out some emotions, it’s time to shift your focus to productivity. Regardless of what your profession is, everyone has some sort of ideal environment for getting things done.
Think about what yours looks like. What time of day are your thoughts the clearest? Where in your home is the most comfortable spot to work? What kind of music motivates, uplifts, or inspires you?
You may also consider surrounding yourself with some of your dad’s favorite items during this time. Consider having one of his favorite foods as a snack, wearing one of his t-shirts, or having a photo of the two of you in your workspace. It will likely cause you to remember some small details you’d like to include that focus on the high points of your life together, rather than simply his death.
Step 3: Write Down Some Key Points
What are some unforgettable things about your dad? As his daughter, you have a unique perspective about how he addressed a variety of trials you likely faced in your life. How was he there for you? How was he there for your family?
Even if your relationship was rocky at times and you’re afraid of sounding harsh or insincere, consider the gravity of what you’re saying. This is one of the last things you’re addressing your dad with. Do you want to focus on the positives or the negatives?
Before you officially begin your draft, just freely jot down some bullet points or key phrases. This will help you organize your thoughts and the overall order of your speech. You may also be interested in how to write an unforgettable eulogy (for just about anyone).
Step 4: “Call” Your Dad
If you hit a wall during your writing process— which is quite possible—or you’re just unsure about what you’ve written so far, it may benefit you to “call” your dad. This may sound odd, but perhaps having a conversation with him right now would help you out of your rut.
What advice would he give you? What was something he always said to you? Even if the details you come up with seem small or silly, it may just be the extra touches your speech could benefit from.
After all, you’re writing this speech as his daughter. Using your unique perspective about you and your dad’s relationship should feel nothing short of special, even if the two of you didn’t always see eye-to-eye.
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Step 5: Take Breaks
Another way to address writer’s block is to take a break. In fact, no matter how far you’ve gotten in your draft or drafts, you should take a break to let your words and thoughts sit a while. You may have some more clarity about what to say after taking some time away to do some things you enjoy. Or, better yet, do something you and your dad used to enjoy doing together. You may also be interested in inspirational quotes for funerals.
Once you’ve taken some time away and feel ready to return, you should read your progress aloud and edit as you would any other written work.
That said, you have to remember that this is a speech. It shouldn’t read like a thesis. Check out tips for speaking at a funeral if you’re unsure of your abilities. At the end of the day, it should just feel like talking to your dad and loved ones, because that’s all it is. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Step 6: Keep It Authentic
Funeral speeches are not the time for leaving things unsaid. However, you should still be respectful of your audience while remaining both true to yourself and the woman or young lady your dad knows you to be.
If your dad used colorful language or had an aggressive curfew, talk about it if it seems right. It’s these details that made your dad who he was and who he was to you. Shedding light and honoring this relationship is the whole point of this speech, after all.
As a reminder, this speech is about honoring the relationship that you and he had, not any others. You shouldn’t feel forced or obligated to cover every aspect of what your dad brought to this world. After all, that would probably be a really long speech.
And, again, you shouldn’t worry so much about your speech being “perfect,” because there’s likely no such thing.
Examples of Eulogies for Dads From His Daughter
If none of the examples below quite hit the mark, we hope they at least provide you with some inspiration or some sort of starting point. After all, you should strive to make your speech as unique as possible. For more ideas, check out these funeral poems.
Eulogy example one
“My dad was the greatest role model I could have ever asked for, and the best grandpa. I only wish he could have been around longer for my boys, but I know we’ll be able to keep him alive with stories.
"Most of those, of course, are a bit PG-13, so we’re gonna have to wait. I already miss you so much, Dad, and I don’t know how we’re all going to make it without you. But, because of you, and the strength you instilled in me, I know we can, one day at a time.”
Eulogy example two
“Dad, I have you to blame for my sense of humor, my occasional temper, and so many other things that I both love and dislike about myself. I guess, now, I can only love them because they remind me of you. Standing up here talking about you is really weird, because it feels like you’re still in the room. I’d like to imagine I’ll always feel like you’re in the room.
"Like it’s just another day and you’re waking me up to tell me my breakfast is ready or that it’s time to go to softball practice. It won’t be quite like that, but, as you always said, daydreaming is important. I promise I’ll continue to daydream and recite old movies in my head with you. I’ll miss you so much.”
Eulogy example three
“My old man would hate the fact that I’m standing here calling him an old man. But you know what? He was an old man. And even though I won’t say he went at the right time, I’m damn grateful that I got to spend this long with him and that he fought so hard. That’s one of the main things that my dad taught me.
"Each day you’re given, you may have to fight a little or a lot. And when you need to fight harder, you fight harder. That being said, he also believed that each day was a gift — rather, each moment was a gift. So, also using his logic, you should always have a few desserts every day. Of course, only after your workouts are through.”
Losing a Father Isn’t Easy
No matter how old you are or how old your dad was at his passing, it’s OK to regard this as the hardest thing you’ve ever gone through.
Death is not easy. But the more we all recognize it and come together, the easier healing will be. Funerals and funeral traditions, such as speeches, are a meaningful way to honor your father and his legacy. To continue celebrating your dad’s life years after his death, consider these ideas for acknowledging death anniversaries.