If you're ever asked to deliver the eulogy at a funeral service or memorial service for a close family member, you'll want to think carefully about whether you're ready to make that commitment. But if you're simply nervous because you're worried you won't do such a great job or that someone else could do it better, you really have nothing to fear.
Here are three thoughts to help you pull through if you're having second thoughts about delivering a eulogy that's making you feel anxious or nervous as you prepare.
1. There are plenty of people there to support you
You can always have someone take over if you break down and can't finish. You can even designate someone to finish reading the eulogy for you if you're unable to, in order to keep the memorial service moving freely instead of being held up. Or, you can have a seat and ask the person leading the funeral services to continue with the service while you compose yourself, perhaps letting them know later on if you're ready to finish or if you'd like to have them finish your speech for you.
It's really flexible; the attendees are there to memorialize a lost loved one, not to get in and get out as fast as possible. They won't be upset at every little interruption.
2. Nobody is grading you
The other funeral-goers won't be rating you on a scale of one to ten, putting red marks on your speech, or firing you from your job based on your performance of the eulogy. In fact, quite the opposite; they''re all ready to support you emotionally if you're struggling and tearing up during your speech.
And in addition, it's assumed when you deliver the eulogy that you're speaking for not only yourself but also for many of the rest of the attendees when you express your respect and affection for the deceased, so nobody will be making judgement about your character; they'll most likely be following along avidly and remembering fondly any anecdotes you mention.
3. You shouldn't judge yourself either
Just because you won't be judged harshly by others doesn't mean you should make up for that by condemning your own eulogy or wishing it had gone better. Most public performances don't go as smoothly as hoped, so just let it go and continue to focus on your deceased family member, what they meant to you, and how you and the rest of the family will continue to keep him or her alive in your hearts during the coming days.
Whether you use writing the eulogy as part of your personal process for dealing with your grief or whether you try to suppress some of your emotions during the eulogy so you'll be able to get through the service without breaking down, this can be a very special part of how you remember and memorialize a loved one after he or she passes away. So be sure you're totally committed before you agree to deliver the eulogy, but don't back down just because you're feeling nervous about the ordeal.
To learn more about what to expect when delivering a eulogy, contact a local funeral home.