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Published: Sunday, 12/12/2004

Author has tips for writing eulogies

Cyrus M. Copeland edited a collection of more than 60 famous eulogies for the book, Farewell, Godspeed: The Greatest Eulogies of Our Time. He has five basic tips for those writing a eulogy for a loved one:

w●Start strong. If you start with, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today ..." you should be shot. The gathered know exactly why they're there.

w●Be honest. People can smell a pile of insincerity coming from a mile away.

w●Get personal. We all want to know that our presence here made a difference. Telling stories isn't being egotistical, it's recognizing that principle.

w●Be unique. If your eulogy for Uncle Jack can be easily substituted for Uncle Peter, at the very least you have been less than straight with your audience.

w●Close well. Finish memorably. It's the final valediction, so make it count.

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