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How to find inspirational ideas when writing a eulogy for a father

Updated August 10, 2017

The loss of a father can be a heavy blow to both children and adults. Delivering the eulogy adds an extra challenge: how can you possibly summarise such an important relationship and pay tribute to such an influential figure in the short space of time available? Although crafting a fitting eulogy can seem like a difficult task in a trying time, it will be much easier if you look for inspiration in the right places.

Collect information for the eulogy. Speak to friends and family members; get them to share favourite stories or sayings. Your eulogy should be personal, but it's about your father, not you; it should show him from several perspectives.

Gather mementos of your father. Old photographs, letters, personal belongings or other artefacts can all help to inspire your writing.

Begin by writing freely about your father. Set yourself a time limit -- half an hour or an hour are good -- and just write the first thing that comes into your head. Don't critique your own work; simply write.

Think about things your father loved. Remember his favourite quotations, songs and writers. Imagine how he would have summed himself up if called on to give his own eulogy.

Examine the material you've collected. Combine reminiscences from other friends or relatives, your own memories and the results of your freewriting. From these you can begin to craft your eulogy.

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About the Author

Dr James Holloway has been writing about games, geek culture and whisky since 1995. A former editor of "Archaeological Review from Cambridge," he has also written for Fortean Times, Fantasy Flight Games and The Unspeakable Oath. A graduate of Cambridge University, Holloway runs the blog Gonzo History Gaming.