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How To Write A Eulogy For A Best Friend

Eulogy Examples for a Best Friend

Two thousand years ago, Aristotle wrote what’s possibly one of the most eloquent sayings about friendship that’s ever been written. He said, “What is a Friend? It’s a soul in two bodies.” We feel the intense pain when we’ve lost a best friend that’s different from what we experience with acquaintances or even family members.

There’s a tremendous amount of information and discussion about the loss of family members, lovers, even siblings. But there’s far less out there about the deep loss of a best friend. Despite this, you’re not alone. Many others have experienced this type of loss. People do talk and write about it.

And if you’ve lost your best friend and need to give their eulogy, there’s not a great deal of help and advice out there. We have gathered a few thoughts on what to say and how to speak about such a profound loss.

What is a Friend? It’s a soul in two bodies.

Aristotle
Table Of Contents


How To Write Your Best Friend’s Eulogy


Probably the most important thing to know is that although there really isn’t a wrong way to start the eulogy for your best friend. It’s a good idea to check in with your friend’s family or with the funeral director to ask whether the funeral will be formal or more relaxed. You’ll need to know how much time you can take, and anything else that they want you to bear in mind for the day of the funeral.

Choosing how to start the eulogy is entirely up to you, but the simplest approach is often best. Perhaps “(Name of Friend) was the best friend I’ve ever had,” speaks volumes.

Tone

When people talk about the “tone” of a eulogy, they’re referring to how you speak will and how formal the speech will be. If the service has a specific format, or if the family is very straight-laced, you may need to be more reserved in your eulogy.

But what if you’ve never met your best friend’s family members? If they’ve reached out and asked you to give a eulogy, it’s appropriate to chat with them for a few minutes, asking them questions and getting a feel for their personalities. It can be helpful to know if your friend’s closest family are very religious since that can affect your tone. 

Sometimes the pain and grief are so extreme that we have a difficult time seeing anyone else’s point of view. If that’s where you are, stop and give this some thought. You don’t want to hurt anyone who is already reeling from loss.

Humour

Some of the most-loved and best-remembered funerals and eulogies involve sharing a humorous story about the deceased and yourself. Of course, you don’t want to tell a story that is in poor taste. If they are conservative, you probably don’t want to tell wild or irreverent stories, no matter how funny they are. 

One of the simplest ways to be funny is not to give the audience the expected ending. Something that simple can bring a small laugh which is always a good thing in the midst of deep grief.

The purpose of a eulogy is to commemorate and celebrate your friend and your friendship. It doesn’t need to be restrained like an obituary usually is. Even when the family is very conservative, an amusing story can bring everyone a little joy.

How to Pay Tribute

It is worth remembering that the way that someone wants to be remembered is important. We sometimes pay tribute by setting aside our own feelings about someone. As this person’s best friend, you know what was important to him or her. So talking about those things, and praising your friend in the way that they would have liked, is a good idea.

You can also share stories about some of the people who are in attendance, such as “She was so proud of her little brother Bill and talked about him all the time. She was devoted to her family.” If there were things that your friend was very proud of in her life that not everyone there aware of, you might consider paying tribute to those things.

How Long to Speak

If the family hasn’t given you a time to stick to, don’t speak for more than about ten minutes. No matter how close you were to your friend, you want to leave time for the rest of the service. It’s always smart to have a few notes or prepared comments to make sure you say everything you want to without rambling. Brevity, even at a sad time, is still always a good idea.

It’s acceptable if your comments are fairly short. Of course, you don’t want to be too short either—two sentences, for example, might come across as disrespectful. Three to five minutes is a safe minimum. 

Many people can feel self-conscious when it comes to speaking publicly. Don’t worry if you find yourself overcome or unable to speak. Still, remember that everyone at the funeral will be focused on their own feelings about the loss of your friend. This is normal, and it’s okay to take a few moments to compose yourself again.

Finding Inspiration

There’s a great deal of information online about eulogies and inspirational readings you can include. If there was a particular poem, song, or saying that you know your friend was fond of, you can read that to the group. Sometimes other people’s words can be the easiest way to express what we are feeling. Everyone in the room is there because they valued your friend too. All you need to do is your best—that will be enough.

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