Father and son

How To Write a Eulogy For Dad While Still Grieving His Loss

Where do I begin? This is what you may be asking yourself in the days after your father has passed away. Following my dad’s death, I was lost. I found there’s no wrong place to start on how to write a eulogy for dad. It’s about putting your feelings into words to help yourself and the others touched by his life and death find some closure. Here are some tips that made a daunting task a little easier for me when I sat down at my dad’s kitchen table the morning before his service.

We are also including some samples of eulogies that you can use while writing a eulogy for your father.   Most of us don’t have experience writing eulogies so we want to provide you with all the resources we can.

Some of the links on this page and in our guide are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Gather Your Thoughts

Losing a loved one is devastating, and when that loved one is your dad, it can be tough to know where to begin in the grieving process. Give yourself some time to mourn before you start to write the eulogy.

Once you’re ready, sit down and make a list of the things you want to say. It’s helpful to think about your dad’s life in terms of phases – for example, childhood, young adulthood, and the details important following your birth.

Ask yourself essential questions, such as,

  • What were some of the defining moments of each stage?
  • What did he teach you about life, love, and responsibility?
  • What did you learn from him that has had a lasting impact?

Also, if your dad was a business owner, government leader, veteran, or any other important figure in your life with a unique role to play, you might incorporate that into your eulogy.

You may want to look back at old photos or videos to trigger those memories. Old photos are a great way to remember the special times or the characteristics or habits of your dad. These can be great things to add to the eulogy that you write for your father.

Once you’ve gotten all your thoughts and memories on paper, it will be easier to organize them into a cohesive eulogy.  Now on actually how to write a eulogy for your father.

Create A Structure

When you’re looking for a strategy on how to write a eulogy for dad, understand there’s no one right way to structure that fits your needs exactly. You can organize one by time, location, or event, and you might even want to incorporate all three. For example, you might talk about your earliest memories of your dad, followed by specific moments during his life, and ending with how you feel about his death.

No matter how you choose to organize it, front-load the essential information so that those gathered will have a better understanding of your dad and why you loved him. When it comes to writing a eulogy for a father, you’re the best judge of what works.

Share Your Memories

Including personal memories of your dad in the eulogy is a great way to make it feel more like his service and less like a speech. It also shows those gathered that you loved him profoundly and allowed them to get to know him a little better by sharing your favorite memories.

Here are a few ideas of what to include:

  • A funny story about your dad
  • A touching story about a time he went out of his way to help you or another person
  • A story about a favorite childhood memory
  • Quotes from him that reveals how he felt about his life and love
  • A lesson that sticks out in your mind as one he taught you

These stories should illustrate who your dad was as a person and will be a cherished part of the eulogy. Following my father’s untimely death, I was crushed. I spent several minutes telling the guests at his funeral how he helped me become the man I am today. It wasn’t easy, but it was therapeutic and allowed me to celebrate the extraordinary life he led.

Using old photos on how to write a eulogy for dad.jpg

Include Pictures

Pictures are a great way to help tell your dad’s story and make the eulogy more personal. If you have any old family photos, use them in the tribute. If possible, include photos from throughout his life, such as,

  • Childhood
  • Graduation
  • Young adult
  • Marriage (if appropriate)
  • First images as a parent (with you or a sibling)
  • First images as a grandparent
  • pictures with other family members (siblings)

Also, if your dad had a furry companion, including a beloved dog, cat, or horse, consider using some of these photos. When I was trying to figure out how to write a eulogy for a father, I found pictures of my dad and our family dog on our famous camping trips. Including these photos in the tribute helped paint a complete picture of my dad and his love for the outdoors.

If you’re not comfortable speaking in public or don’t have time to write out the entire eulogy, consider using a video slide show of images to share your dad’s story.

Man Crying

Express Your Feelings

Your eulogy for dad should express how you feel about his friendship, love, and guidance. Remember that this is your opportunity to say everything you want and grieve in your own way. Don’t be afraid to be emotional and let those gathered know how much your dad meant to you.

Some people find it helpful to read their eulogy from a paper, while others prefer to speak from the heart. Whichever you choose, you might want to practice it to feel natural when you deliver it. I couldn’t practice or read my eulogy for my dad before his service. It was too painful. However, every person is different.

Keep It Short

Your eulogy doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out affair. When you’re looking for how to write a eulogy for dad, keep in mind that brevity is often best. Many people prefer a tribute that is 5 to 7 minutes long. However, don’t skip the closing.

It’s essential to have a sense of closure in your eulogy. Even though your dad has passed away, it’s still a time to celebrate his life. Consider ending with a few words about how you’ll miss him and how much he meant to you.

End On A Positive Note

No one wants to think about death when they’re grieving, but your eulogy must leave those gathered with a sense of hope. This step isn’t always easy to do, but it’s worth the effort.

End with a flourish by summarizing the most important points you made, leaving your audience with a few thoughts to ponder. It’s also nice to have a last memory or story about your dad to share.

My father was an amazing man, and I was truly blessed to have him in my life. I miss him more than I can say, but I know he’s looking down on me with that proud smile, and I’ll carry his love with me always.

I hope the how-to guide on writing a eulogy for dad has been helpful. I also want to mention that if you need help with your grief or have questions about other topics related to death and grief, please feel free to contact us. We’re here to support you during these difficult times.

A Few Notes About Public Speaking

Most of us don’t get up in front of a room of people, even friends, and speak from the heart. If you do, please skip this section but we wanted to provide you with a few quick tips. . Hopefully, these will make it a bit easier. We can’t make you Tony Robbins in a few sentences but maybe we can help you feel a little better about a difficult time.

  • You Will Be Nervous – This is normal. It’s nothing to be ashamed of or embarassed by. The good news, the others know it and will forgive you.
  • You’ll Probably Make Mistakes – Again, very normal. The truth is that often no one else knows it unless you tell them. They don’t know what you were going to say. Even if it becomes obvious, that’s okay.
  • It’s Okay to Cry – You are here to grieve your father. You can cry. No one will think any worse of you.

You might see a pattern here. Many of the things that you will be nervous about or worry about are normal. Your audience will forgive you and are there, just like you, to grieve and remember your father. So, as you think about how to write a eulogy for your father, remember him with love, think of how he made you feel and share those memories and feelings. You’ll be okay from there.

Helpful Resources

If you aren’t up for writing the eulogy yourself, there are resources that can help you get started. Unfortunately, they can’t deliver it for you. They also don’t have the memories and experiences that you have so they do need your help. However, if you just can’t figure out how to get started or the right questions to ask, hiring someone on a site like Fiverr can get you started. (That link will take you to a search for freelancers who will help with eulogies.)

Fiverr is a marketplace where you can hire someone to help you with various tasks, like writing. There are a lot of people there to help you.

Example Eulogies for Fathers

Steve Irwin’s Eulogy – Delivered by Bindi Irwin

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.

George H.W. Bush’s Eulogy – Delivered by George W Bush

Note: This one is long for most eulogies but we provide it because looking at eulogies for figures we know can help us with writing a eulogy for our own fathers.

Distinguished guests, including our Presidents and First Ladies, government officials, foreign dignitaries, and friends; Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I and our families thank you all for being here.

I once heard it said of a man that the idea is to die young as late as possible. At age 85, a favorite pastime of George H.W. Bush was firing up his boat, the Fidelity, and opening up the three 300 horsepower engines to fly, joyfully fly across the Atlantic with the Secret Service boats straining to keep up.

At age 90, George H.W. Bush parachuted out of an aircraft and landed on the grounds of St. Anne’s by the Sea in Kennebunkport, Maine, the church where his mom was married and where he worshipped often. Mother liked to say he chose the location just in case the chute didn’t open.

In his 90s, he took great delight when his closest pal, James A. Baker, smuggled a bottle of Grey Goose vodka into his hospital room. Apparently it paired well with the steak Baker had delivered from Morton’s.

To his very last days, dad’s life was instructive. As he aged he taught us how to grow with dignity, humor and kindness. When the good lord finally called, how to meet him with courage and with the joy of the promise of what lies ahead.

One reason dad knew how to die young is that he almost did it, twice. When he was a teenager, a staph infection nearly took his life. A few years later he was alone in the Pacific on a life raft, praying that his rescuers would find him before the enemy did. God answered those prayers. It turned out he had other plans for George H.W. Bush.

For dad’s part, I think those brushes with death made him cherish the gift of life, and he vowed to live every day to the fullest.

Dad was always busy, a man in constant motion, but never too busy to share his love of life with those around him. He taught us to love the outdoors. He loved watching dogs flush a covey. He loved landing the illusive striper. And once confined to a wheelchair, he seemed happiest sitting in his favorite perch on the back porch at Walker’s Point contemplating the majesty of the Atlantic.

The horizons he saw were bright and hopeful. He was a genuinely optimistic man, and that optimism guided his children and made each of us believe that anything was possible. He continually broadened his horizons with daring decisions.

He was a patriot. After high school, he put college on hold and became a navy fighter pilot as World War II broke out.

Like many of his generation, he never talked about his service until his time as a public figure forced his hand. We learned of the attack, the mission completed, the shootdown. We learned of the death of his crewmates whom he thought about throughout his entire life. And we learned of the rescue.

And then another audacious decision; he moved his young family from the comforts of the East Coast to Odessa, Texas. He and Mom adjusted to their arid surroundings quickly. he was a tolerant man. after all, he was kind and neighborly to the women with whom he, Mom, and I shared a bathroom in our small duplex. Even after he learned their profession, ladies of the night.

Dad could relate to people from all walks of life. He was an empathetic man. He valued character over pedigree, and he was no cynic. He looked for the good in each person and he usually found it.

Dad taught us that public service is noble and necessary, that one can serve with integrity and hold true to the important values like faith and family. He strongly believed that it was important to give back to the community and country in which one lived. He recognized that serving others enriched the giver’s soul. To us, his was the brightest of a thousand points of light.

When he lost, he shouldered the blame. He accepted that failure is a part of living a full life. but taught us never to be defined by failure. He showed us how setbacks can strengthen.

None of his disappointments could compare with one of life’s greatest tragedies, the loss of a young child.

Jeb and I were too young to remember the pain and agony he and Mom felt when our 3-year-old sister died. We only learned later that Dad, a man of quiet faith, prayed for her daily. He was sustained by the love of the Almighty and the real and enduring love of her Mom. Dad always believed that one day he would hug his precious Robin again.

He loved to laugh, especially at himself. He could tease and needle but never out of malice. He placed great value on a good joke. That’s why he chose Simpson to speak.

On e-mail, he had a circle of friends with whom he shared or received the latest jokes. His grading system for the quality of the joke was classic George Bush. The rare 7s and 8s were considered huge winners, most of them off-color.

George Bush knew how to be a true and loyal friend. He nurtured and honored his many friendships with a generous and giving soul. There exists thousands of handwritten notes encouraging or sympathizing or thanking his friends and acquaintances.

He had an enormous capacity to give of himself. Many a person would tell you that Dad became a mentor and a father figure in their life. He listened and he consoled. He was their friend. I think of Don Rhodes, Taylor Blanton, Jim Nantz, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and perhaps the unlikeliest of all, the man who defeated him, Bill Clinton. My siblings and I refer to the guys in this group as brothers from other mothers.

He taught us that a day was not meant to be wasted. He played golf at a legendary pace. I always wonder why he insisted on speed golf; he’s a good golfer. Here’s my conclusion. He played fast so he could move on to the next event, to enjoy the rest of the day, to expend his enormous energy, to live it all. He was born with just two settings, full throttle, then sleep.

He taught us what it means to be a wonderful father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He was firm in his principles and supportive as we began to seek our own ways. He encouraged and comforted but never steered. We tested his patience. I know I did. But he always responded with the great gift of unconditional love.

Last Friday when I was told he had minutes to live, I called him. The guy answered the phone, said: “I think he can hear you but he hasn’t said anything for most of the day.” I said, “Dad, I love you and you’ve been a wonderful father,” and the last words he would ever say on Earth were, “I love you too.”

To us he was close to perfect. but not totally. His short game was lousy. He wasn’t exactly Fred Astaire on the dance floor. The man couldn’t stomach vegetables, especially broccoli. And by the way, he passed these genetic defects along to us.

Finally, every day of his 73 years of marriage, Dad taught us all that it means to be a great husband. He married his sweetheart. He adored her. He laughed and cried with her. He was dedicated to her totally.

In his old age, dad enjoyed watching police show reruns, the volume on high, all the while holding Mom’s hand. After Mom died, Dad was strong, but all he really wanted to do was hold Mom’s hand again.

Of course, Dad taught me another special lesson. He showed me what it means to be a President who serves with integrity, leads with courage, and acts with love in his heart for the citizens of our country.

When the history books are written, they will say that George H.W. Bush was a great President of the United States, a diplomat of unmatched skill, a Commander in Chief of formidable accomplishment, and a gentleman who executed the duties of his office with dignity and honor.

In his inaugural address the 41st President of the United States he said this: “We cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account, we must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood, and town better than he found it. What do we want the men and women who work with us to say? That we were more driven to succeed than anyone around us or that we stopped to ask if a sick child had gotten better and stayed a moment there to trade a word of friendship?”

Well, Dad, we’re going to remember you for exactly that and much more, and we’re going to miss you. Your decency, sincerity and kind soul will stay with us forever. So through our tears, let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man. The best father a son or daughter could have. And in our grief, let us smile knowing that Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom’s hand again.

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