Your own death may be far from your mind, or it may have to be kept close, depending on your circumstances. Either way — it’s not an easy thing to think about. A big part of becoming death positive is enjoying life in the meantime. A great way to do so is by preparing for anything life throws your way. And, in all honesty, that may be death.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Step 1: Be Yourself
- Step 2: But Also Consider Consulting Loved Ones
- Step 3: Create a Good Writing Space
- Step 4: Walk Away from Your Work
- Step 5: Revisit and Finalize Your Draft(s)
- Examples of Writing a Eulogy for Yourself
Writing your own eulogy, though emotional, should feel empowering. If you’re at a loss for what a eulogy is or where you’d even begin to write your own, we provided several steps as well as examples below.
If nothing else, think of it as a tribute speech about yourself — what you loved, what you learned, and what you want to tell others even after you’re “gone.”
Tip: If you want to make your passing even easier for your loved ones, you can share our post-loss checklist with them to help them through the process.
Step 1: Be Yourself
By writing your own eulogy, you have an incredibly unique opportunity to say exactly what you want to say about yourself and your life. You should make it feel as though you’re still in the room with your loved ones, and use your own voice.
Using your own voice, too, can also help you decide from which perspective you want to address your audience. Do you want to write in the third person (your name or she/he/they), or address the audience from the first person (I, my)?
The way you choose to frame it should also help you determine what you want to include. In all honesty, you can write whatever you’d like. But, if you’re still at a loss for how to begin, perhaps it’d be helpful to read general tips on how to write a eulogy.
It may also be helpful to pretend as though you’re writing the eulogy for someone else. For example, you can address different loved ones or aspects of your life by saying, “[Your name] would want [loved one’s name] to know she’ll never forget when she first fell in love with him.” Or, “[Your name] always wants you all to remember to not waste time — so yes, that means Olympic-style speed walking just about everywhere.”
You don’t have to make it a heavy or even a sad speech at all, and you shouldn’t shy away from inserting anecdotes and bits of humor. It’s probably what your family and friends want to hear the most at the time, anyway.
Still feeling like you're not ready? Head over to our guide on how to write about yourself for some more tips before you get started.
Step 2: But Also Consider Consulting Loved Ones
Though in the above step we recommend for you to be yourself, your eulogy, of all things, may cause you to practice an overwhelming amount of humility. While there’s nothing wrong with this, you may leave out some pertinent details as to not brag about yourself.
But this is one of the last messages you will personally give the world — don’t hold back. If it’s hard for you to “brag” or write about your life objectively, consult one of your loved ones to fill in the gaps if necessary.
That being said, it’s also perfectly fine to keep your eulogy to yourself and let your loved ones be surprised. After all, it’s likely that they’ll have a few funeral speeches from their point of view, too.
Step 3: Create a Good Writing Space
If you’re trying to be productive, the most important thing is creating a good environment. If you have any sort of “routines” that you have to complete, get those out of the way.
Then, when you feel you’re ready to write, do what you can to get settled and in the right mindset. This may mean making a trip for your favorite coffee beverage or opening your favorite wine — or, cracking open a cheap beer — it’s up to you.
You should also choose a comfortable environment where you can let yourself get emotional or work through your eulogy out loud, if needed. Pick a favorite spot in your home with limited distractions or venture to your favorite local haunt. Play some of your favorite music if it helps you, but it’s understandable if you just need some silence. You may also consider cracking a window or getting some fresh air or nature sounds for inspiration.
Step 4: Walk Away from Your Work
After you’ve written a lot or a little, or made some sort of progress, you may hit a wall. This is totally OK and expected. All of your best ideas may already be in your draft or they may be just around a mental corner in your mind.
You have to give yourself time to breathe, especially when writing about heavy subjects such as this. Writing any eulogy, much less your own, isn’t supposed to be a piece of cake. For a different approach, you may also be interested in funeral poems.
It’s understandable if walking away from projects is difficult for you. Some people have a hard time not finishing things immediately. Or, perhaps it’s far too easy for you to quit on things. Either way — try to set a deadline for yourself to return to your work after doing other things that you enjoy. This advice can go for just about any project, not just eulogy writing.
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Step 5: Revisit and Finalize Your Draft(s)
After taking an adequate break, you might feel re-energized or at least more motivated to finish things up. Hopefully, you’re bringing some new or better ideas to your piece, too.
You might also want to edit your eulogy over time. You may choose to hold onto original drafts and even share them at your funeral. These older drafts can serve as letters to yourself, if nothing else.
When re-reading your draft or drafts, you should also consider reading them out loud. Does any of your language sound awkward, too formal, or choppy? How’s your grammar looking?
Edit this piece as you would any professional or otherwise serious work. This doesn’t mean you have to write a formal eulogy — you can be quite casual and even wild, if you so choose. It’s your funeral, after all!
Examples of Writing a Eulogy for Yourself
Below you’ll find a few examples of writing a eulogy for yourself. Of course, none of these may sound like you, and that’s totally fine. Hopefully, at least one of the following gives you some sort of inspiration or motivation for writing your own eulogy. You may also be interested in these other eulogy examples.
Eulogy example one
“[Your name] spent most of [his/her] life just wanting to help others. [He/she/they] hope[s] [he/she/they] did that. From playing doctor on [his/her/their] stuffed animals early on to defying the odds and attending medical school, [he/she/they] [is/area] nothing short of grateful for everything that came [his/her/their] way, though it certainly was never easy.
"[He/she/they] hope[s] that no matter where you are in your life, you don’t choose the easy path, but the right path, and always listen to your gut and your heart as well as your head. They all have something important to say.”
Eulogy example two
“If you’re sitting in this room right now, thank you. Also, if you’re sitting in this room right now, I’m sorry. I wish you were gathered for better circumstances. Or, perhaps you got out of your spouse’s to-do list for the day, so, in that case, perhaps you should be thanking me.
"But honestly, I love each and every one of you, and I hope you continue to feel this even now that I’m no longer with you. I hope you think of me when you see a cool sunset or hear a weird bird or watch a basketball game. And, I hope you smile when you do. I want you all to smile. Even when it hurts, you don’t so much owe it to me as you do yourself. You’re all beautiful, but you’re far more beautiful when you choose joy.”
Eulogy example three
“I never thought I’d be writing my own eulogy, yet here I am. I’d like to imagine none of you thought you’d be hearing my own eulogy, either. This wasn’t easy. Leaving you all wasn’t easy. Trust me, it was the very last thing I wanted to do. But I thank you all for being here to listen to me one last time. Though, of course, maybe I’ll finally get to the punchline without laughing.
"Those of you who’d ever heard me try to tell a joke will know what I mean. They tell you that death isn’t supposed to be funny. But maybe that’s why I always laughed mid-joke. I just always wanted to get to the next thing.
"And, I assure you all, I’m OK, and I want you all to be too. At the same time though, don’t listen to me. Live for the journey, not so much the punchline or whatever you think the next thing is. Practice more patience. I certainly needed to do more of that.”
Write Out of Empowerment, Not Fear
Though writing your own eulogy may still seem odd or even scary, you shouldn’t let fear win. You have such a powerful opportunity to share joy, love, and wisdom with others. After all, it’s fairly certain that your loved ones will remember your last words as much as they would any others. Your eulogy is the perfect opportunity to not leave anything unsaid.
In addition to writing your own eulogy, you may also wish to leave behind other parameters for your funeral. Cake makes it easy with a free online end-of-life planning profile. And, furthermore, if you’re concerned about the financial strain a funeral may place on your loved ones, you may choose to explore prepaid funeral plans.