How to Prepare a Eulogy for a Grandmother

Alice Wisler
Contributor: Tamsen Butler
family at a funeral

A eulogy for a grandmother is a sweet tribute that can be given at a funeral or graveside service. Eulogies don't need to be fancy or long.

Types of Eulogies for Grandmothers

There are a number of types of eulogies you can offer. You can select one type or use a combination of a few during the service.

Reading Poetry

You can read or recite a favorite poem of your grandmother's, one of your choosing or read one that reflects what she meant to you. Here is a sample eulogy poem specific to grandmothers:

My grandmother's hair was white

She never tried to hide her years

Time with her was pure delight

One hug from her took away all my fears.

My grandmother's hands were creased

They held mine tight and sure

A hug and all my worries ceased

I'll never forget how comforting her hands were.

My grandmother's face was a song

One that sang of wisdom and love

Her smile made a short day out of one that was long

Now that face lives on above.

Bible Passage

If your grandmother had a few scripture verses she found meaningful and obtained comfort from, you can read those in her memory. Though there aren't any passages from the Bible specific to a grandmother's passing, the following verses are appropriate and can bring comfort to grieving family members.

  • So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. -John 16:22 (NIV)
  • If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. -Romans 14:8 (NIV)
  • I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. -2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV)
  • He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. -Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

Share a Memory

Tell about the time she baked cookies for the whole neighborhood or how she taught you to sew. The moments don't have to be profound but can instead highlight how even the smallest things meant a great deal to you.

Sing a Song

If you are talented in this arena, then, by all means, lend your voice to sing a song as a tribute to your grandmother. Singing one she taught you or one you used to sing with her, will be a memorable gesture. Some popular funeral songs include:

  • Bette Midler's Wind Beneath My Wings
  • Frank Sinatra's My Way
  • Sarah McLachlan's In the Arms of an Angel
  • Any song or hymn your grandmother really loved

Truth Learned

Focus on a lesson your grandmother taught you. Was it how to love? How to forgive? Tell your audience about what this lesson has meant to you over the years. Here is an example:

My grandmother spent my entire life preparing me for this exact moment. She taught me how to display confidence and poise even when I want to break down and cry. She also taught me that life here on Earth is fleeting and that one day we'll all be together in Heaven, so even though I miss her terribly, I know I will see her again. Through her strength, she taught me to be strong and through her love she taught me to care about others. So while I stand here before you, poised and strong, it's only because of my grandmother's love that I'm able to do so.

Preparing a Eulogy

As you prepare for a eulogy, take your time:

Jot Down Ideas

woman jotting down ideas

Spend time alone in quiet reflecting on the life of your grandmother. Let your mind roam freely as you jot ideas down. List her characteristics and her favorite things. Think about how you would describe her while still alive to someone else and write that down. Don't worry about proper spelling or grammar; just get the words out of your head.

Structure Your ideas

After you have a list of words or thoughts, chose one or two to talk about. Structure your sentences. Some find that an outline helps them organize their thoughts and direct their eulogy's direction.

Write Your Eulogy

It is best to write out what you are going to say even if you don't read it word for word. Choose words that sound natural as you speak them. Make the eulogy come alive and be from your heart. Don't try to write a complicated eulogy; remember that this isn't a test for school or work and nobody expects perfection.

Practice by Standing and Speaking

Face a mirror and think of it as your audience. You might also try recording yourself delivering the eulogy or present it to someone you trust to tell you if it works well. Read aloud what you have written once for content. Make the necessary changes. Then read aloud again. Practice your intonation. Pronounce words clearly.

Memorize as Much as You Can

Although you probably will be too nervous to say your entire eulogy by rote, do practice enough so your eyes will not have to be glued to the paper. Even if you do feel as if you have the eulogy memorized, don't underestimate how your emotion will influence your ability to find the words from your memory; have a copy of your eulogy handy if needed. If you find you do have to rely on your written speech, don't allow your paper or device to stay in your face.

Delivering the Eulogy

At the service, keep this advice in mind as you deliver your eulogy:

  • Keep it short and sweet
  • Speak clearly
  • Stand tall

Emotional Delivery

Funerals are emotional times. Remember that your voice could break, and you may not be able to carry through with the entire song, poem or reading. Take comfort in knowing that all is not lost; you will be excused and understood for crying.

Calming Your Nerves

Handling your emotions when speaking in public can be difficult enough but when you add the emotions of a funeral, it can make delivering a eulogy quite difficult. Here are some tips to help:

  • Avoid looking at emotional loved ones while delivering the eulogy; their tears might prompt more tears for you.
  • If you're unsure where to look when not looking at your written eulogy, find something on the back wall to look at.
  • The more you practice beforehand, the easier it will be to deliver the eulogy.
  • Don't apologize if you get emotional - everyone expects there to be emotionally present.

A Word of Advice

Before the service, know whether you will be the only one to give a eulogy or if others will also present something. This helps in knowing your time limit. If other family members or grandchildren will speak, agree together to not go over five minutes each. The audience will tire quickly if the talks continue for long spans of time.

Eulogy for Grandmothers Will Help Others

Chances are, your heartfelt words will cause others at the service to offer gratitude to you. Often the words we speak are felt by many at funerals, yet not everyone is able or willing to stand and speak. Delivering a eulogy for a beloved grandmother is an opportunity to bless many as you share your sentiments with others.

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How to Prepare a Eulogy for a Grandmother