If you've been asked to speak at a loved one's funeral, you may be experiencing some mixed emotions. While you're happy to honor your loved one in this way, you're likely to also be nervous about the prospect of speaking about him or her in front of so many people. A good funeral speech honors the deceased and also makes the audience feel comforted in this trying time. Here are three ways to start a caring and thoughtful funeral speech that will honor your loved one's memory and also put your audience at ease.
"I remember this time when..."
One option is to start the speech by telling a story about something that you and your loved one did together. This may be a tale from childhood or something that happened more recently. Be sure to deliver the story in an upbeat tone. Then, talk about the way the deceased acted in the story, and how those actions defined him or her as a person.
Starting your speech in this way allows the audience to remember the deceased in a good light. If the story you tell is funny or cute, it will help lighten the mood.
"I heard this song the other day..."
Talk about a song that either the deceased loved or that reminds you of him or her. You can share a few lyrics, and describe to your audience how they relate to your loved one's life or ideals. If there was a song that your loved one really enjoyed, consider sharing a few lines of that song and then surmising how they relate to your loved one's life and why he or she loved them so much. You can even play the entire song for your audience as a way of concluding your speech.
"If [insert loved one's name] were here, I would tell them . . ."
Sometimes, one of the hardest parts of losing a loved one is feeling like you had things you never got to say to that person. Starting your speech by sharing some of those things will allow you to get them off your chest. It will also be comforting to those who are listening to know that they're not the only ones who wish they could say something more. Share with your audience the words you wish you could say to the deceased, and tell them why you'd like to say these things. After you're done speaking, your audience members will likely tell you that they have some of the same sentiments they wish they could share.
Giving a speech at a funeral is never easy. However, with any of these three prompts, you'll be off to a sound start.
For additional funeral services, contact a professional funeral home, like W J Smith & Son Funeral Home, for assistance.