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How to Write a Eulogy for Dad

A look at how to write a eulogy for your dad, with some examples of things to say in a eulogy for your father.

Last updated: 14 June 2023

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Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Finding the right words to say at a funeral for your dad will never be easy. However you decide to write dad’s eulogy, the pressure you’ll undoubtedly feel is completely understandable.

Many sons or daughters choose to write or read a eulogy at their father’s funeral, as a way of thanking him for who he was and acknowledging how hard it is to say goodbye.

This guide will help you with some ideas for making this emotional task a bit more bearable, and help you go about finding the best things to say in a eulogy for your father.

How to write a eulogy for dad

If you don’t know where to begin writing a eulogy for your father, you could start by jotting down the memories and anecdotes that make you miss him, smile or feel proud.

The perspective that you have will be almost impossible to match. It’s definitely worth looking to friends and other family members for anecdotes and stories, but your life with your dad is probably your richest resource.

Whether they are memories you’ve shared together, stories told to you by old friends or tales he’s given you from his life, you should bring together as much inspiration as you can before you start writing.

How do I find the words to say at a funeral for dad?

To find the right words to say about your dad at the funeral it’s helpful to brainstorm a bit and think about your father’s life as a whole, about how he specifically had an effect on you and the people he knew. Try considering the following:

  • What was he like as a person?

  • Was he funny or stern, ambitious or carefree?

  • What were his hobbies? Did he have an interest in sports or a passion for trains?

  • What was his favourite joke?

  • Which are the things you’ll remember that are so “Dad”?

Writing out key points in your dad’s life can also be a help to get the story of his life in order

  • His childhood

  • Early schooling

  • University or college years

  • Working life

  • His marriage and/or subsequent relationships

  • Your childhood experiences with him

  • His later years

You will probably end up with more material than you could fit into a eulogy, but from that point you can begin editing down to the most thought provoking and evocative elements.

What are some readings that I could include in my funeral speech for dad?

Not everyone is a naturally confident writer and if you’re worried that you can’t find the right words to put in your eulogy, there are a whole range of funeral readings for dad you could include that reflect your father’s life and how you felt about him.

If he was funny then you might want to think about writing a funny eulogy for your dad. If he was into drama, then perhaps including a quote from Shakespeare might be appropriate.

There are poems which are often used in eulogies as they can put complex feelings and emotions into simple words. If he was a non-religious man, celebration of life poems might reflect that best.

It could be something brief or something longer, but so long as you feel the connection, it will be appropriate.

How long should a eulogy for your father be?

A eulogy for your father should be between 5-7 minutes long. This is not a hard and fast rule, but most funeral directors would suggest this length as it’s in line with generally accepted schedules for crematorium services and burials.

A longer eulogy might feel like it’s giving more information, but you might also lose focus in your writing. You want to keep a eulogy tight and relevant so that people can get a real sense of who your father was to you.

On the other hand, a shorter eulogy for a father might skim over important details. Mourners have come to pay their respects and a well written eulogy could well remind them of interesting, funny, heart warming or surprising elements of the person they’ve come to pay respects to.

How do I give a eulogy for my father without crying?

You don’t have to worry about crying when giving your father’s eulogy. It’s not a time when anyone would judge you for crying, because someone close to your heart has died. If you do find yourself getting emotional and unable to carry on, pause and take a few deep breaths. People attending the funeral will almost certainly be patient with you.

You should also not worry about not crying. Everyone grieves in their own way and however you express your emotions is the right way for you.

Eulogy examples for dad

Start simply. Everyone at the funeral will know who you are, and why you are speaking, so you don’t have to worry about introducing yourself. Thank everyone for coming, and speak slowly. Some examples of what to say in a eulogy for dad are:

  • “Dad was a dedicated family man, who was always there when you needed him.”

  • “Seeing so many people here to say goodbye to Dad today, shows just how loved he was and how much he will be missed.”

  • “Dad had a great/terrible sense of humour. No matter what, he would always try to make everyone else smile.”

Try to speak about personal moments that you shared with your dad. Everyone coming to mourn him will want to hear about how you remember him, and your favourite moments with him.

What’s a really good eulogy for a dad?

Writing a ‘good’ eulogy is as simple as speaking from the heart. If you speak about what that relationship was built on, that will remind other mourners how they connected with him too.

You could start by writing a line or two welcoming the gathering, and acknowledgment of the guests (those who have travelled a long way for example). You might then want to include some personal memories or any anecdotes that are special to you. It should give the audience an idea of your dads personality and character. You could reflect on their personal values, and talk about the impact and influence they have had on your life, or even tell your favourite dad-joke or a moment that seemed embarassing at the time, that you've since come to cherish.

To finish the eulogy for your dad, you should try and summarise all that you want to say. You don't need to go over what you've already said, but just a few words from the heart can serve to express how much your dad meant to you, and how much you'll miss him,

What is an example of a eulogy for dad?

When Australian conservationist Steve Irwin died, his daughter Bindi presented this short but memorable eulogy in memory of her dad. Sometimes a few personal and heartfelt words are all you need to say to express the love and admiration for a loved one.

My Daddy was my hero – he was always there for me when I needed him. He listened to me and taught me so many things, but most of all he was fun. I know that Daddy had an important job. He was working to change the world so everyone would love wildlife like he did. He built a hospital to help animals and he bought lots of land to give animals a safe place to live.

He took me and my brother and my Mum with him all the time. We filmed together, caught crocodiles together and loved being in the bush together. I don’t want Daddy’s passion to ever end. I want to help endangered wildlife just like he did.

I have the best Daddy in the whole world and I will miss him every day. When I see a crocodile I will always think of him and I know that Daddy made this zoo so everyone could come and learn to love all the animals. Daddy made this place his whole life and now it’s our turn to help Daddy.

There are some general things to remember when writing a eulogy and it can be a daunting task, whoever you are writing about. But writing a eulogy for a close family member might be the toughest and for a parent who you loved and respected, even tougher still.

For many people, writing a eulogy can be one of the hardest parts of organising a funeral. No matter how you decide to proceed, or how difficult you find the eulogy, remember that you are helping to tell your dad's story, and everyone at the funeral wants to hear you speak.

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