Losing someone special has to be the most traumatic experience anyone can go through. Whenever that happens, you’re usually required to write a tribute for their funeral. Writing a tribute can be a really difficult process when dealing with grief.
While the tribute must come from your heart, it shouldn’t be rigid. Your tribute should be clear, concise and communicative to the audience at the funeral. To write a tribute that will communicate your feelings, a step-by-step guide is required.
In this article, we will be providing you with a step-by-step guide to writing and delivering a good memorial tribute.
Table of Contents
Effective Steps to Follow to Write an Appealing Tribute
Accepting the inevitable
Accepting the loss of a loved one and coming to terms with the fact that he/she is gone from this world is a really difficult thing to do. But to give them a befitting tribute speech, you have to accept that they are gone. If they could speak to you again, they would unhesitatingly ask you to smile more, not mourn.
Your happiness must’ve been their priority, and not even their departure should take that away from you. So pull yourself together and look forward to ensuring their memories live longer and happier in your heart.
Reminisce on the amazing memories shared
After accepting the inevitable, the next step is reminiscing on the memories you made with your loved one. At this point, you’re not remembering them from the standpoint of pain, but from a standpoint of gratitude. An in-depth feeling of gratitude that you could share in the wonderful memories of their lifetime.
Reminisce on their personality. How did they influence your life? What were their hobbies? How did they handle relationships with people? What was your favourite time with them? Think about their smile. Did they always light up the room and radiate happiness?
Trust me, reminiscing on those good memories will help you figure out the right words to describe your loved one in a tribute.
Write down your thoughts
While reminiscing on your loved one’s personality, pick up a book and a pen, and start jotting down everything you remember about them. Right from their attributes to your relationship with them, down to their values and most importantly, their achievements in life.
What was her favourite colour? Was she outgoing? What about his sense of humour? How did he make people feel around him? Write down every memory or attribute you can associate with them. This will be the pointer to the next step.
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Bring your focus to one thing
After making a list of the attributes, accomplishments and memories associated with your loved one, the next step is narrowing down your thoughts to a focus point. For example, if he/she was a philanthropist, you may want to narrow down your focus to their kindheartedness and selflessness.
So what was your uncle’s most domineering attribute? What did people like about your brother the most? Which memory of your mother stands out the most for you? Figuring these little things out will make it easier to find a focus point while writing the tribute.
Choose your tone
Before you write a tribute, it’s important to choose a tone that resonates with your loved one’s personality. A tone is the feeling or attitude a writer chooses to reflect in their writing. So before you choose a tone, which attribute of your loved one supersedes the others?
Was your auntie a respectable philanthropist or an evangelist? Then you would want to go for a more serious and welcoming tone. Something that gives off her personality and gives you a good flow while talking about her.
Was your sister always playful, goofy and full of life? Then you’d want to sound cheerful and lively in your tribute. You could choose to start with a story or a hilarious moment you had with her. But don’t overdo it. Keep the sarcasm light and be as respectful as possible.
Draft out a strategy
Every form of writing, be it an article, blog post, a book or even a tribute has three basic parts; an introduction, the body and a conclusion. This keeps it comprehensive.
For your introduction, you may want to start with an endearing title you always called the deceased by in Nigeria. For example; “Baby”, “Ezinne,” “Iyawo wa,” “Ore mi,” etc.
Then move into the topic you’ve decided to focus on and tell a story or two that emphasizes it, such as; “I can remember the day I broke the jerry can on our way back from the borehole and you took the blame for it, because you didn’t want me to get beaten. This has always been you, the selfless and caring sister…”
It’s important to end on a positive note. You can choose to repeat the points you started with and end it with a quote or a phrase your loved one usually used or one that resonates with their personality. Something like, “As dad will always say, your life is yours to make or mare. So let’s endeavour to make our lives here truly beautiful and keep daddy’s legacy going. Adieu daddy. Till we meet to part no more.”
Make it concise and interesting
In as much as you may have so much to say about the deceased, keep your tribute short and interesting. Do not overemphasize points that do not require it. Go with the flow and maintain a particular tone till the end.
Read it out loud and edit
Once you’re done writing, read it out loud and check for errors. If you find any, make the necessary corrections and send your tribute for publication in the funeral brochure.
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As much as death is something beyond our control, our reaction to it is within our control. We could choose to mourn forever or allow ourselves to find solace in the memories made with that person, giving those memories and their legacy a chance to keep living.
The first step to doing this is by writing a memorable tribute. With the step-by-step guide above, you can confidently pour out your heart to your late loved ones in words that others can read and celebrate their lifetime.
Thank you for reading through!
Edited by Priscilla Ajayi.