Writing a eulogy for dads from daughters
The death of a parent is devastating. Writing a eulogy can be an important part of healing as you move through the early grieving process.
Whether you’ve volunteered to write your father’s eulogy or a family member nominated you for the task, you’ll want to write a fitting tribute that captures your fondest memories of your dad.
If you’re keen to start writing your father’s eulogy straight away, download a free copy of our Eulogy Workbook. It includes examples of what you could include in your dad’s eulogy.
Eulogies for fathers from daughters, like all eulogies, are usually quite short. They’re only 3 to 5 minutes if other people are speaking at your dad’s funeral, besides the celebrant. If you’re the only speaker, then a longer eulogy of around 10 minutes is fine.
A 3 to 5-minute speech is 2 or 3 A4 pages. A 10-minute eulogy is 5 or 6 A4 pages.
Because eulogies are quite short, there’s no need to pack every event of your dad’s life into those few minutes. You only need to share the details that are most important to you—a few memories or stories that highlight the best parts of your relationship with your father.
It’s OK and even encouraged to focus on your relationship with your dad. That’s not selfish at all. It’s expected. If you’re writing a short eulogy, you don’t have to refer to his earlier life. You can pick up from when you were born. However, if you’re the only speaker, then you probably will want to include those biographical details from his earlier life.
Deciding what to include in a eulogy for fathers from daughters
To help you choose which stories and memories to keep and which to leave out, it can help to have an overall theme that governs what you’ll say.
A theme could be what your dad was most known for–that defining characteristic.
Don’t worry if a theme doesn’t come to mind straight away. By chatting to your family and people who knew your dad well and asking them about their favourite memories of your dad, you might start to see a theme emerging or it will emerge as you go through the writing process.
Start writing your dad’s eulogy
Write the opening
You can open the eulogy by thanking those who are at the funeral, travelled a long way to get there, or who are watching via a live stream.
Let people know who you are as some people might not know you’re his daughter.
If you decide to include his biographical details, it’s good to include them in the opening. You could include details such as:
- where and when he was born
- what was happening in the world at that time if it had an impact on the person he became
- where he grew up and what that experience was like
- something about his parents and siblings or other relatives if you think that’s important
- his education and career highlights
- key relationships in his life – partner(s), kids and grandkids.
If you’re writing a longer eulogy, you could also talk about:
- his favourite activities
- the important people in his life
- volunteering activities
- travel and other adventures
- education or career highlights
- his unique skills and talents.
Keep in mind that facts can seem impersonal, so you can pepper this information with anecdotes and memories in a daughter’s eulogy to her father.
Share your favourite memories of your dad
After sharing your dad’s biographical details in your opening address, it’s time to now start focusing on your relationship with him. This section will make up most of the eulogy.
If you feel like you have too much detail, filter it against the theme you set. Only include the stories that fit with your theme.
Focus on the way your dad made you feel and find the memories that illustrate that emotion. Or think about his influence on your time—like a time when you acted in a particular way when you reminded yourself of your dad.
Think about how you would define fatherhood and how your dad fits that description. Choose a memory to go alongside that.
Weave your stories into the eulogy. You can add these to the details you shared in the opening, or include them as stand alone, separate stories.
It’s more than OK to include humorous stories in eulogies for dads from daughters. Humour is always well-received at funerals as it breaks the tension and sadness we feel. However, humour should only be used with warmth and respect, not to poke fun at the deceased.
Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a bad eulogy. Any eulogy delivered with warmth and kindness is a good eulogy. These are your stories and memories to share as part of your healing process.
Write your final farewell
You might find writing and delivering the conclusion of your dad’s eulogy the hardest part. This is the part where people sometimes become distressed when delivering a eulogy. But knowing this can help you prepare for it.
You can speak directly to your dad or you can speak to the people at his funeral.
In your final farewell, express what your dad meant to you and how much you’ll miss him.
If you find this part to write, think about what comforting things your dad would say. That might help you find the right words.
Delivering your father’s eulogy
To help boost your confidence about delivering the eulogy, practice reading the eulogy out loud many times and time how long it takes. You may need to edit out some of the content if you think it’s too long.
For extra input, you could ask someone in your family or a close friend to take a look at the eulogy, but ultimately, it’s your memories of your dad to share.
It can also help to have a strategy in place in case you become too emotional to continue with the eulogy. You can plan to:
- take a moment for deep breaths
- have a glass or bottle of water with you so you can take sip
- have someone in the audience you can look to for encouragement
- for someone to take over from you if you’re too upset to continue.
Print the eulogy with page numbers and in a large font size so it’s easy to read.
Try to keep the pages flat and not folded or rolled so they will sit neatly on the lectern.
A digital copy is handy because others at the funeral may want you to email them a copy.
We hope these tips have given you the confidence to write a heartfelt eulogy that expresses just how much your dad means to you.
Download our eulogy workbook
To help you write a eulogy from the perspective of a daughter to her father that remembers him with love and fondness, download a copy of our free eulogy workbook.
It includes eulogy for father from daughter examples to inspire what you could write as a tribute to your father.