When faced with the task of writing a eulogy, it’s hard to know where to start. There’s so much to think about and you want to make sure that it does justice to the type of person your loved one was. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by this task, it can help to break it up into smaller parts. Follow these 5 steps to help guide you through the process of writing a meaningful, heartfelt eulogy.

1. Decide on a Theme

When organizing your thoughts, be on the lookout for a theme that you could use to weave throughout your eulogy. Reflect back on your loved one’s life, the things they did, the places they went, and think about possible metaphors that could be used to describe your loved one. Having a theme to keep coming back to helps to keep the eulogy on message and gives your message a deeper meaning.

2. Take Time to Introduce Yourself

One of the first things you should do is to introduce yourself to the members of the service. Let everyone know who you are and talk a little bit about your history with your loved one. If you are delivering the eulogy it means that you were a very significant part of your loved one’s life.

3. Share a Story

Once you’ve taken the time to explain who you are and your history, share a positive story about your loved one. It should be a memory that people will relate to. Even if it’s not one that everyone was a part of, people should hear that story and think, ‘that sounds like something ‘Anne’ would do.

4. Talk About Their Character

What one word do most people use to describe your loved one? Some people are defined by their family. If your loved one was a wonderful father, incorporate that into your eulogy and address his children or his wife. If your loved one was devoted to his career, make it a point to talk about her professional achievements.

5. Tie it All Together

When you’ve said all you need to say, find a way to tie everything all together. Try to find a quote, song lyric, or religious verse that relates to the theme you chose.

If you’ve been asked to deliver a eulogy, take it as an honor to be able to share a few words on behalf of the one you loved and lost. I know it will be overwhelming at first, but follow this guide to help alleviate the anxiety and facilitate the process. If you get stuck, turn to someone you trust to help you along the way.