Yikes – what do I do?
Yes, congratulations. You should be honoured to know that people think so highly of you, that you are mostly likely one of the few people who will get a chance to share your personal stories and memories on this very important day. I remember when I spoke at my Dad’s funeral, I was very nervous and wanted to do a good job. Here are a few ideas that may work for you.
- Pick a theme to talk about. Explain a few stories that help explain who she was and how you remember her. For example, if you want to let people know that your aunt was a funny lady, share a few real life stories. Or perhaps she was a great baker, describe her pies and how much you enjoyed eating them.
- If you have a picture of the two of you, have it enlarged and talk about the day that the picture was taken. Where were you? What were you doing?
- If appropriate, wear something of hers. Maybe she had a scarf, a purse or some jewelry that she had that you can talk about. The item might help you talk about her. Maybe she loved clothes, shoes and purses – and that could be the bases for your theme.
- Also know that it is ok to be honest about your aunt. If there were times that she made you mad, then it is ok to mention a few of those times. Most likely someone in the audience will have a similar story and your honesty will be appreciated more than saying that she was perfect.
- Write down what you want to say. Some people can talk without notes, but rarely does that go well. You are most likely to be quite emotional and nervous so writing your thoughts down may help you keep your composure and stay on track.
- Don’t talk too long. Say something that has value and helps to paint a picture of who she was and what she meant to you. Also, don’t be afraid to cry. Rarely at any funeral are there any dry eyes, so just know that you will be loved and supported as you give your speech.
So, good luck with your speech and getting through the day. Remember, the more you can either describe a day, a memory or a story, the easier it will be for you to give your speech. Once you have given your speech, you will both be glad that it is over and also that you have shared with others some great memories of your aunt. And that is what a funeral speech is all about!