Estate Planning

How Do You Handle Negative Aspects of the Deceased's Life in a Eulogy?

Joel Lim

|

November 25, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

handle negative aspects of the deceased's life in a eulogy

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Losing a loved one is hard, and writing a eulogy is a difficult task during times of grief. It’s even more challenging if you’re wondering how to handle negative aspects of the deceased’s life in the speech.

Eulogies are a way to pay tribute and honor the deceased, which means not mentioning any grudges. To help you through this process, we put together a guide on handling the not-so-pleasant subjects.

Key Takeaways 

  • You can include negative aspects in a eulogy if you remain sensitive to the audience.


  • Try to include positivity in your eulogy, as it’s a speech to honor and celebrate the deceased.


  • Don’t express hatred or anger in a eulogy, as it may offend the audience. 


How Do You Handle Negative Aspects of the Deceased's Life in a Eulogy?

handle negative aspects of the deceased's life in a eulogy

Relationships are complicated, and sometimes, people have disagreements and fights, which can result in long-held grudges. Negative aspects of one’s life also include things like addiction to alcohol and drugs, or even abuse.

When writing a eulogy for the deceased, you may already have mixed emotions about their passing. Reading out a eulogy that’s untrue can feel wrong. Here are some tips for bringing up negative aspects of the deceased's life in a eulogy without coming across bitter or offending their family and friends.

Avoid Being Too Negative

You don't have to outright lie about the deceased's life and make it seem like everything was sunshine and rainbows. Family and friends of the deceased will know the truth and will find it hard to relate and share your grief. 

You can briefly mention the tougher subjects. However, there's no need to discuss these negative feelings or events too much. Eulogies are a way to honor and celebrate the deceased's life. By being too negative, you may hurt the family or friends of the deceased and make the audience uncomfortable. 

For example, if you found the deceased difficult or had a bad experience with them, don’t bring it up in the eulogy. 

This can create animosity, and people will find it highly disrespectful. If you can’t write the eulogy without bringing up negative aspects, consider having someone else do it.

Allude to Any Negativity Gently to Avoid Offending

If you absolutely must mention negativity because it was a big part of the deceased's life, like alcohol addiction, allude to it gently. 

You can use words like "struggled" or "battled" with whatever negative aspect you want to talk about. Just say it in a manner that’s not accusatory to avoid offending anyone.

Include Positive Aspects Throughout

Including positive aspects throughout the speech will take away from the more challenging subjects. If you say something negative, follow it up with something positive. 

For example, if the person struggled with alcoholism, you can talk about the times they fought it or other positive aspects of their life besides their addictions. 

End on a Positive Note

If you've put negative thoughts or feelings into your eulogy, don’t finish with them. 

This could make the people listening even more upset than they already are. It might be seen as rude and could insult the family members listening.

To avoid this situation, finish your speech on a cheerful note since it's a tribute to the deceased’s life.

Seek Guidance From Family & Friends

If you're unsure whether to include something, your intuition is telling you not to. Ask the deceased's friends and family for their opinion on what you should include.

Remember, whatever you speak about may be hurtful to the family. If something is particularly uncomfortable or highly sensitive, ask family members or friends before including it.

Is It Okay To Express Hatred or Anger in a Eulogy?

is it okay to express hatred or anger in a eulogy

Anger and hatred are strong emotions and sometimes go hand-in-hand with relationships. However, it’s never okay to express hatred for the deceased in the eulogy. 

Regardless of your feelings, this can be extremely offensive and hurtful to other family members and make the audience uncomfortable. 

If you have the honor of writing a eulogy for someone you've had a complicated relationship with, you can be honest without coming across as harsh.

Remember, a eulogy is not the time nor place for revenge. Writing a eulogy full of hate can hurt the people listening and damage your relationship with them. 

You might think letting out all your pent-up anger and emotions will help with the grieving process. However, it can cause feelings of regret later on. 

Should I Avoid Negativity in the Eulogy Altogether?

We're all human, and no one is perfect, so you don't have to avoid negativity in a eulogy altogether because you still want to be honest. 

Ethicist, Dr. Matt Beard, explains:

"I don't think we do anyone a favor by holding them up on a pedestal and pretending like they were more than what they were, or to make them less than what they were."

There are ways to include negative aspects in a eulogy that don't come across as hurtful. 

If you choose to include negative aspects of the deceased's life in your eulogy, don’t spend too much time discussing them. One thing people forget when writing a eulogy is not to make it all about them and their feelings. Spending too much talking about your negative feelings can come across as selfish. 

When choosing to include negative or sensitive topics in your eulogy, carefully allude to them. Speak in a respectful tone rather than an accusatory one. 

Tips to Include Positive Aspects in a Eulogy

tips to include positive aspects in a eulogy

Writing a eulogy for someone you hold animosity toward is difficult, but including positive aspects is important. Here are our favorite tips to include positivity in a eulogy when you can only think of negative aspects.   

Share Happy Memories 

Don’t share any sad or upsetting memories in your eulogy, especially in a melancholy setting like a funeral. 

Think of the times when you enjoyed the deceased's company. Sometimes, a happy memory doesn't have to be particularly significant. For example, some people's happiest memories with their loved ones are just sitting and watching TV together. 

Discuss Their Contributions to Others

Talk about the deceased's contributions to others, and how they helped people, friends and the local community. Even if you have negative emotions about them, someone the deceased helped may feel differently. This helps you focus on keeping the eulogy positive. 

Speak About Their Passions and Character

Regardless of how you feel about the deceased, you can always talk about their passions and hobbies. This helps the audience connect with the deceased and get to know them better. 

You can also highlight the positive aspects of their character. If they were funny, generous, ambitious, caring or hard-working, people will appreciate hearing about their positive attributes.

Highlight Positive Relationships

Highlight their positive relationships. For example, even if you didn’t get along with them as well as you would have liked, somebody else likely had a wonderful experience with them.

Talk about their positive relationships, whether it was with family, friends, work colleagues or even a mentee. Share the most important parts of their life.

Celebrate Their Accomplishments

Talking about the deceased's accomplishments is a good way to distract yourself from negative emotions like hate and anger. Focus on their life and work. Did they raise children or grandchildren? Did they serve their country? Did they excel in their career? These are all positive subjects to keep the tone of the eulogy light-hearted.

Include Light-Hearted & Appropriate Humor

Use light-hearted humor to soften the negative things you talk about. You can also use humor when writing the eulogy to make it a little more positive if you're battling to keep it light and non-confrontational. 

Just be sure whatever humor you use is not offensive or inappropriate to the time and place.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Can you say negative things at a funeral?

Yes, you can say negative things at a funeral. Just ensure you’re alluding to them with sensitivity and not including too much negativity.

What are two important things to include in a eulogy?

Always introduce yourself to the audience in your eulogy and thank people for attending the service. This helps everyone know who you are and establishes your connection to the deceased person.

How many minutes should a eulogy last?

A good eulogy lasts between three to seven minutes. Anything longer, and you risk losing the audience’s attention and going over the allotted funeral time.

How does a eulogy usually end?

There is no wrong or right way to end a eulogy, but many people choose to end with a poem, quote or even a song.

Estate Planning

How Do You Handle Negative Aspects of the Deceased's Life in a Eulogy?

Joel Lim

|

November 25, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

Losing a loved one is hard, and writing a eulogy is a difficult task during times of grief. It’s even more challenging if you’re wondering how to handle negative aspects of the deceased’s life in the speech.

Eulogies are a way to pay tribute and honor the deceased, which means not mentioning any grudges. To help you through this process, we put together a guide on handling the not-so-pleasant subjects.

Key Takeaways 

  • You can include negative aspects in a eulogy if you remain sensitive to the audience.


  • Try to include positivity in your eulogy, as it’s a speech to honor and celebrate the deceased.


  • Don’t express hatred or anger in a eulogy, as it may offend the audience. 


How Do You Handle Negative Aspects of the Deceased's Life in a Eulogy?

handle negative aspects of the deceased's life in a eulogy

Relationships are complicated, and sometimes, people have disagreements and fights, which can result in long-held grudges. Negative aspects of one’s life also include things like addiction to alcohol and drugs, or even abuse.

When writing a eulogy for the deceased, you may already have mixed emotions about their passing. Reading out a eulogy that’s untrue can feel wrong. Here are some tips for bringing up negative aspects of the deceased's life in a eulogy without coming across bitter or offending their family and friends.

Avoid Being Too Negative

You don't have to outright lie about the deceased's life and make it seem like everything was sunshine and rainbows. Family and friends of the deceased will know the truth and will find it hard to relate and share your grief. 

You can briefly mention the tougher subjects. However, there's no need to discuss these negative feelings or events too much. Eulogies are a way to honor and celebrate the deceased's life. By being too negative, you may hurt the family or friends of the deceased and make the audience uncomfortable. 

For example, if you found the deceased difficult or had a bad experience with them, don’t bring it up in the eulogy. 

This can create animosity, and people will find it highly disrespectful. If you can’t write the eulogy without bringing up negative aspects, consider having someone else do it.

Allude to Any Negativity Gently to Avoid Offending

If you absolutely must mention negativity because it was a big part of the deceased's life, like alcohol addiction, allude to it gently. 

You can use words like "struggled" or "battled" with whatever negative aspect you want to talk about. Just say it in a manner that’s not accusatory to avoid offending anyone.

Include Positive Aspects Throughout

Including positive aspects throughout the speech will take away from the more challenging subjects. If you say something negative, follow it up with something positive. 

For example, if the person struggled with alcoholism, you can talk about the times they fought it or other positive aspects of their life besides their addictions. 

End on a Positive Note

If you've put negative thoughts or feelings into your eulogy, don’t finish with them. 

This could make the people listening even more upset than they already are. It might be seen as rude and could insult the family members listening.

To avoid this situation, finish your speech on a cheerful note since it's a tribute to the deceased’s life.

Seek Guidance From Family & Friends

If you're unsure whether to include something, your intuition is telling you not to. Ask the deceased's friends and family for their opinion on what you should include.

Remember, whatever you speak about may be hurtful to the family. If something is particularly uncomfortable or highly sensitive, ask family members or friends before including it.

Is It Okay To Express Hatred or Anger in a Eulogy?

is it okay to express hatred or anger in a eulogy

Anger and hatred are strong emotions and sometimes go hand-in-hand with relationships. However, it’s never okay to express hatred for the deceased in the eulogy. 

Regardless of your feelings, this can be extremely offensive and hurtful to other family members and make the audience uncomfortable. 

If you have the honor of writing a eulogy for someone you've had a complicated relationship with, you can be honest without coming across as harsh.

Remember, a eulogy is not the time nor place for revenge. Writing a eulogy full of hate can hurt the people listening and damage your relationship with them. 

You might think letting out all your pent-up anger and emotions will help with the grieving process. However, it can cause feelings of regret later on. 

Should I Avoid Negativity in the Eulogy Altogether?

We're all human, and no one is perfect, so you don't have to avoid negativity in a eulogy altogether because you still want to be honest. 

Ethicist, Dr. Matt Beard, explains:

"I don't think we do anyone a favor by holding them up on a pedestal and pretending like they were more than what they were, or to make them less than what they were."

There are ways to include negative aspects in a eulogy that don't come across as hurtful. 

If you choose to include negative aspects of the deceased's life in your eulogy, don’t spend too much time discussing them. One thing people forget when writing a eulogy is not to make it all about them and their feelings. Spending too much talking about your negative feelings can come across as selfish. 

When choosing to include negative or sensitive topics in your eulogy, carefully allude to them. Speak in a respectful tone rather than an accusatory one. 

Tips to Include Positive Aspects in a Eulogy

tips to include positive aspects in a eulogy

Writing a eulogy for someone you hold animosity toward is difficult, but including positive aspects is important. Here are our favorite tips to include positivity in a eulogy when you can only think of negative aspects.   

Share Happy Memories 

Don’t share any sad or upsetting memories in your eulogy, especially in a melancholy setting like a funeral. 

Think of the times when you enjoyed the deceased's company. Sometimes, a happy memory doesn't have to be particularly significant. For example, some people's happiest memories with their loved ones are just sitting and watching TV together. 

Discuss Their Contributions to Others

Talk about the deceased's contributions to others, and how they helped people, friends and the local community. Even if you have negative emotions about them, someone the deceased helped may feel differently. This helps you focus on keeping the eulogy positive. 

Speak About Their Passions and Character

Regardless of how you feel about the deceased, you can always talk about their passions and hobbies. This helps the audience connect with the deceased and get to know them better. 

You can also highlight the positive aspects of their character. If they were funny, generous, ambitious, caring or hard-working, people will appreciate hearing about their positive attributes.

Highlight Positive Relationships

Highlight their positive relationships. For example, even if you didn’t get along with them as well as you would have liked, somebody else likely had a wonderful experience with them.

Talk about their positive relationships, whether it was with family, friends, work colleagues or even a mentee. Share the most important parts of their life.

Celebrate Their Accomplishments

Talking about the deceased's accomplishments is a good way to distract yourself from negative emotions like hate and anger. Focus on their life and work. Did they raise children or grandchildren? Did they serve their country? Did they excel in their career? These are all positive subjects to keep the tone of the eulogy light-hearted.

Include Light-Hearted & Appropriate Humor

Use light-hearted humor to soften the negative things you talk about. You can also use humor when writing the eulogy to make it a little more positive if you're battling to keep it light and non-confrontational. 

Just be sure whatever humor you use is not offensive or inappropriate to the time and place.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Can you say negative things at a funeral?

Yes, you can say negative things at a funeral. Just ensure you’re alluding to them with sensitivity and not including too much negativity.

What are two important things to include in a eulogy?

Always introduce yourself to the audience in your eulogy and thank people for attending the service. This helps everyone know who you are and establishes your connection to the deceased person.

How many minutes should a eulogy last?

A good eulogy lasts between three to seven minutes. Anything longer, and you risk losing the audience’s attention and going over the allotted funeral time.

How does a eulogy usually end?

There is no wrong or right way to end a eulogy, but many people choose to end with a poem, quote or even a song.

Estate Planning

How Do You Handle Negative Aspects of the Deceased's Life in a Eulogy?

Joel Lim

|

November 25, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

handle negative aspects of the deceased's life in a eulogy

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Losing a loved one is hard, and writing a eulogy is a difficult task during times of grief. It’s even more challenging if you’re wondering how to handle negative aspects of the deceased’s life in the speech.

Eulogies are a way to pay tribute and honor the deceased, which means not mentioning any grudges. To help you through this process, we put together a guide on handling the not-so-pleasant subjects.

Key Takeaways 

  • You can include negative aspects in a eulogy if you remain sensitive to the audience.


  • Try to include positivity in your eulogy, as it’s a speech to honor and celebrate the deceased.


  • Don’t express hatred or anger in a eulogy, as it may offend the audience. 


How Do You Handle Negative Aspects of the Deceased's Life in a Eulogy?

handle negative aspects of the deceased's life in a eulogy

Relationships are complicated, and sometimes, people have disagreements and fights, which can result in long-held grudges. Negative aspects of one’s life also include things like addiction to alcohol and drugs, or even abuse.

When writing a eulogy for the deceased, you may already have mixed emotions about their passing. Reading out a eulogy that’s untrue can feel wrong. Here are some tips for bringing up negative aspects of the deceased's life in a eulogy without coming across bitter or offending their family and friends.

Avoid Being Too Negative

You don't have to outright lie about the deceased's life and make it seem like everything was sunshine and rainbows. Family and friends of the deceased will know the truth and will find it hard to relate and share your grief. 

You can briefly mention the tougher subjects. However, there's no need to discuss these negative feelings or events too much. Eulogies are a way to honor and celebrate the deceased's life. By being too negative, you may hurt the family or friends of the deceased and make the audience uncomfortable. 

For example, if you found the deceased difficult or had a bad experience with them, don’t bring it up in the eulogy. 

This can create animosity, and people will find it highly disrespectful. If you can’t write the eulogy without bringing up negative aspects, consider having someone else do it.

Allude to Any Negativity Gently to Avoid Offending

If you absolutely must mention negativity because it was a big part of the deceased's life, like alcohol addiction, allude to it gently. 

You can use words like "struggled" or "battled" with whatever negative aspect you want to talk about. Just say it in a manner that’s not accusatory to avoid offending anyone.

Include Positive Aspects Throughout

Including positive aspects throughout the speech will take away from the more challenging subjects. If you say something negative, follow it up with something positive. 

For example, if the person struggled with alcoholism, you can talk about the times they fought it or other positive aspects of their life besides their addictions. 

End on a Positive Note

If you've put negative thoughts or feelings into your eulogy, don’t finish with them. 

This could make the people listening even more upset than they already are. It might be seen as rude and could insult the family members listening.

To avoid this situation, finish your speech on a cheerful note since it's a tribute to the deceased’s life.

Seek Guidance From Family & Friends

If you're unsure whether to include something, your intuition is telling you not to. Ask the deceased's friends and family for their opinion on what you should include.

Remember, whatever you speak about may be hurtful to the family. If something is particularly uncomfortable or highly sensitive, ask family members or friends before including it.

Is It Okay To Express Hatred or Anger in a Eulogy?

is it okay to express hatred or anger in a eulogy

Anger and hatred are strong emotions and sometimes go hand-in-hand with relationships. However, it’s never okay to express hatred for the deceased in the eulogy. 

Regardless of your feelings, this can be extremely offensive and hurtful to other family members and make the audience uncomfortable. 

If you have the honor of writing a eulogy for someone you've had a complicated relationship with, you can be honest without coming across as harsh.

Remember, a eulogy is not the time nor place for revenge. Writing a eulogy full of hate can hurt the people listening and damage your relationship with them. 

You might think letting out all your pent-up anger and emotions will help with the grieving process. However, it can cause feelings of regret later on. 

Should I Avoid Negativity in the Eulogy Altogether?

We're all human, and no one is perfect, so you don't have to avoid negativity in a eulogy altogether because you still want to be honest. 

Ethicist, Dr. Matt Beard, explains:

"I don't think we do anyone a favor by holding them up on a pedestal and pretending like they were more than what they were, or to make them less than what they were."

There are ways to include negative aspects in a eulogy that don't come across as hurtful. 

If you choose to include negative aspects of the deceased's life in your eulogy, don’t spend too much time discussing them. One thing people forget when writing a eulogy is not to make it all about them and their feelings. Spending too much talking about your negative feelings can come across as selfish. 

When choosing to include negative or sensitive topics in your eulogy, carefully allude to them. Speak in a respectful tone rather than an accusatory one. 

Tips to Include Positive Aspects in a Eulogy

tips to include positive aspects in a eulogy

Writing a eulogy for someone you hold animosity toward is difficult, but including positive aspects is important. Here are our favorite tips to include positivity in a eulogy when you can only think of negative aspects.   

Share Happy Memories 

Don’t share any sad or upsetting memories in your eulogy, especially in a melancholy setting like a funeral. 

Think of the times when you enjoyed the deceased's company. Sometimes, a happy memory doesn't have to be particularly significant. For example, some people's happiest memories with their loved ones are just sitting and watching TV together. 

Discuss Their Contributions to Others

Talk about the deceased's contributions to others, and how they helped people, friends and the local community. Even if you have negative emotions about them, someone the deceased helped may feel differently. This helps you focus on keeping the eulogy positive. 

Speak About Their Passions and Character

Regardless of how you feel about the deceased, you can always talk about their passions and hobbies. This helps the audience connect with the deceased and get to know them better. 

You can also highlight the positive aspects of their character. If they were funny, generous, ambitious, caring or hard-working, people will appreciate hearing about their positive attributes.

Highlight Positive Relationships

Highlight their positive relationships. For example, even if you didn’t get along with them as well as you would have liked, somebody else likely had a wonderful experience with them.

Talk about their positive relationships, whether it was with family, friends, work colleagues or even a mentee. Share the most important parts of their life.

Celebrate Their Accomplishments

Talking about the deceased's accomplishments is a good way to distract yourself from negative emotions like hate and anger. Focus on their life and work. Did they raise children or grandchildren? Did they serve their country? Did they excel in their career? These are all positive subjects to keep the tone of the eulogy light-hearted.

Include Light-Hearted & Appropriate Humor

Use light-hearted humor to soften the negative things you talk about. You can also use humor when writing the eulogy to make it a little more positive if you're battling to keep it light and non-confrontational. 

Just be sure whatever humor you use is not offensive or inappropriate to the time and place.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Can you say negative things at a funeral?

Yes, you can say negative things at a funeral. Just ensure you’re alluding to them with sensitivity and not including too much negativity.

What are two important things to include in a eulogy?

Always introduce yourself to the audience in your eulogy and thank people for attending the service. This helps everyone know who you are and establishes your connection to the deceased person.

How many minutes should a eulogy last?

A good eulogy lasts between three to seven minutes. Anything longer, and you risk losing the audience’s attention and going over the allotted funeral time.

How does a eulogy usually end?

There is no wrong or right way to end a eulogy, but many people choose to end with a poem, quote or even a song.

Estate Planning

How Do You Handle Negative Aspects of the Deceased's Life in a Eulogy?

Joel Lim

|

November 25, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

handle negative aspects of the deceased's life in a eulogy

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Losing a loved one is hard, and writing a eulogy is a difficult task during times of grief. It’s even more challenging if you’re wondering how to handle negative aspects of the deceased’s life in the speech.

Eulogies are a way to pay tribute and honor the deceased, which means not mentioning any grudges. To help you through this process, we put together a guide on handling the not-so-pleasant subjects.

Key Takeaways 

  • You can include negative aspects in a eulogy if you remain sensitive to the audience.


  • Try to include positivity in your eulogy, as it’s a speech to honor and celebrate the deceased.


  • Don’t express hatred or anger in a eulogy, as it may offend the audience. 


How Do You Handle Negative Aspects of the Deceased's Life in a Eulogy?

handle negative aspects of the deceased's life in a eulogy

Relationships are complicated, and sometimes, people have disagreements and fights, which can result in long-held grudges. Negative aspects of one’s life also include things like addiction to alcohol and drugs, or even abuse.

When writing a eulogy for the deceased, you may already have mixed emotions about their passing. Reading out a eulogy that’s untrue can feel wrong. Here are some tips for bringing up negative aspects of the deceased's life in a eulogy without coming across bitter or offending their family and friends.

Avoid Being Too Negative

You don't have to outright lie about the deceased's life and make it seem like everything was sunshine and rainbows. Family and friends of the deceased will know the truth and will find it hard to relate and share your grief. 

You can briefly mention the tougher subjects. However, there's no need to discuss these negative feelings or events too much. Eulogies are a way to honor and celebrate the deceased's life. By being too negative, you may hurt the family or friends of the deceased and make the audience uncomfortable. 

For example, if you found the deceased difficult or had a bad experience with them, don’t bring it up in the eulogy. 

This can create animosity, and people will find it highly disrespectful. If you can’t write the eulogy without bringing up negative aspects, consider having someone else do it.

Allude to Any Negativity Gently to Avoid Offending

If you absolutely must mention negativity because it was a big part of the deceased's life, like alcohol addiction, allude to it gently. 

You can use words like "struggled" or "battled" with whatever negative aspect you want to talk about. Just say it in a manner that’s not accusatory to avoid offending anyone.

Include Positive Aspects Throughout

Including positive aspects throughout the speech will take away from the more challenging subjects. If you say something negative, follow it up with something positive. 

For example, if the person struggled with alcoholism, you can talk about the times they fought it or other positive aspects of their life besides their addictions. 

End on a Positive Note

If you've put negative thoughts or feelings into your eulogy, don’t finish with them. 

This could make the people listening even more upset than they already are. It might be seen as rude and could insult the family members listening.

To avoid this situation, finish your speech on a cheerful note since it's a tribute to the deceased’s life.

Seek Guidance From Family & Friends

If you're unsure whether to include something, your intuition is telling you not to. Ask the deceased's friends and family for their opinion on what you should include.

Remember, whatever you speak about may be hurtful to the family. If something is particularly uncomfortable or highly sensitive, ask family members or friends before including it.

Is It Okay To Express Hatred or Anger in a Eulogy?

is it okay to express hatred or anger in a eulogy

Anger and hatred are strong emotions and sometimes go hand-in-hand with relationships. However, it’s never okay to express hatred for the deceased in the eulogy. 

Regardless of your feelings, this can be extremely offensive and hurtful to other family members and make the audience uncomfortable. 

If you have the honor of writing a eulogy for someone you've had a complicated relationship with, you can be honest without coming across as harsh.

Remember, a eulogy is not the time nor place for revenge. Writing a eulogy full of hate can hurt the people listening and damage your relationship with them. 

You might think letting out all your pent-up anger and emotions will help with the grieving process. However, it can cause feelings of regret later on. 

Should I Avoid Negativity in the Eulogy Altogether?

We're all human, and no one is perfect, so you don't have to avoid negativity in a eulogy altogether because you still want to be honest. 

Ethicist, Dr. Matt Beard, explains:

"I don't think we do anyone a favor by holding them up on a pedestal and pretending like they were more than what they were, or to make them less than what they were."

There are ways to include negative aspects in a eulogy that don't come across as hurtful. 

If you choose to include negative aspects of the deceased's life in your eulogy, don’t spend too much time discussing them. One thing people forget when writing a eulogy is not to make it all about them and their feelings. Spending too much talking about your negative feelings can come across as selfish. 

When choosing to include negative or sensitive topics in your eulogy, carefully allude to them. Speak in a respectful tone rather than an accusatory one. 

Tips to Include Positive Aspects in a Eulogy

tips to include positive aspects in a eulogy

Writing a eulogy for someone you hold animosity toward is difficult, but including positive aspects is important. Here are our favorite tips to include positivity in a eulogy when you can only think of negative aspects.   

Share Happy Memories 

Don’t share any sad or upsetting memories in your eulogy, especially in a melancholy setting like a funeral. 

Think of the times when you enjoyed the deceased's company. Sometimes, a happy memory doesn't have to be particularly significant. For example, some people's happiest memories with their loved ones are just sitting and watching TV together. 

Discuss Their Contributions to Others

Talk about the deceased's contributions to others, and how they helped people, friends and the local community. Even if you have negative emotions about them, someone the deceased helped may feel differently. This helps you focus on keeping the eulogy positive. 

Speak About Their Passions and Character

Regardless of how you feel about the deceased, you can always talk about their passions and hobbies. This helps the audience connect with the deceased and get to know them better. 

You can also highlight the positive aspects of their character. If they were funny, generous, ambitious, caring or hard-working, people will appreciate hearing about their positive attributes.

Highlight Positive Relationships

Highlight their positive relationships. For example, even if you didn’t get along with them as well as you would have liked, somebody else likely had a wonderful experience with them.

Talk about their positive relationships, whether it was with family, friends, work colleagues or even a mentee. Share the most important parts of their life.

Celebrate Their Accomplishments

Talking about the deceased's accomplishments is a good way to distract yourself from negative emotions like hate and anger. Focus on their life and work. Did they raise children or grandchildren? Did they serve their country? Did they excel in their career? These are all positive subjects to keep the tone of the eulogy light-hearted.

Include Light-Hearted & Appropriate Humor

Use light-hearted humor to soften the negative things you talk about. You can also use humor when writing the eulogy to make it a little more positive if you're battling to keep it light and non-confrontational. 

Just be sure whatever humor you use is not offensive or inappropriate to the time and place.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Can you say negative things at a funeral?

Yes, you can say negative things at a funeral. Just ensure you’re alluding to them with sensitivity and not including too much negativity.

What are two important things to include in a eulogy?

Always introduce yourself to the audience in your eulogy and thank people for attending the service. This helps everyone know who you are and establishes your connection to the deceased person.

How many minutes should a eulogy last?

A good eulogy lasts between three to seven minutes. Anything longer, and you risk losing the audience’s attention and going over the allotted funeral time.

How does a eulogy usually end?

There is no wrong or right way to end a eulogy, but many people choose to end with a poem, quote or even a song.

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