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How to Write a Eulogy for a Sister – Guidance and Examples

By: Compose.ly — November 09, 2018

wheat field sun setting

Relationships between sisters, or between a sister and her brother, are like nothing else. A sibling relationship ties the two of you together from birth until at least the day one of you leaves home. Even after you venture out on your own, your relationship with your sister might remain just as strong and unyielding. In some families, sibling relationships can last a lifetime.

Your sister can be your best friend, helping and supporting you through life’s little challenges. She can be the one you rely on in times of stress, and the one who knows your deepest fears.

Sometimes the bond between siblings changes over time, but no matter what type of relationship you had with your sister, your time together was unique and full of cherished moments.

Writing a Eulogy for Your Sister

If you’re trying to write a eulogy for your sister, you might not know what to say to honor her memory. Whether you spent years together as children or whether your childhood years were more variable, you might be too upset to begin writing. It’s important to acknowledge and deal with your emotions so you can write a tribute your sister would have loved to hear.

Are you unsure how to start a eulogy for your sister? Here are five steps you can take to write that speech.

1. Jump Back to Your Childhood

Take some time now to return to your younger years. The length of time you spent with your sister will be unique to your family. Some siblings spend decades in one another’s company, while others reunite after years of separation or only have a few sweet years together.

Think about the activities you did with your sister, all of the interactions you had that led to adventures and misadventures. From identical twins to fraternal twins, and from siblings a year apart to several years apart, you and your sister have memories worth remembering and sharing with loved ones.

2. Organize Your Memories

Here is where you’ll create a mind map: a visual map where you put your sister’s name in the middle of a blank piece of paper, and add words, anecdotes and other thoughts around her name.

Creating a mind map gives you the chance to write down all those memories floating through your mind. It lets you grab hold of these snapshots, recording them in brief phrases that you’ll expand on in Step 3 when you write the speech. At this point, don’t worry about trying to write down thoughts according to their degrees of association. Just engage in the first part of the prewriting process and jot down your memories.

Once you’ve filled in the mind map with content, use colored markers to connect entries with similar themes. Use one color for each theme. For example, if you wrote how your sister loved to write stories and also how she once built a fort out of cardboard boxes and sheets, those two anecdotes would be associated under “Creativity.” Did she love to race her scooter down the sidewalk just as much as she loved to dive off the boat to look for clamshells each summer? Connect these two and fit them under “Adventurous Spirit.”

If it helps with readability, rewrite these themes and anecdotes in list-style on a new page. You’ll then have plenty of material to work with when you write the eulogy.

3. Write to Honor Your Sister

Before you do anything else, write down three words on the page: Introduction, Middle and Conclusion.

For your introduction, address the audience and thank them for coming. You should also state who you are so people can fully experience how you shared a life with your sister.

If you’re completely unsure of how to begin your speech, skip over the introduction for now and start with the middle. You can go back later to add in the introduction once you have a better idea of the tone and approach.

The middle of the eulogy will contain your memories, so now is the time to pull out your organized mind map and use the anecdotes and general themes you noted. As you write, try to show how a certain memory revealed the kind of person your sister was.

When you draw connections, you’ll help those in the audience understand the memory as you experienced it. This will allow them to share the feelings and perhaps see another side of your sister – one that offers up a more complete view of her unique personality and life.

Concluding the eulogy is not easy. This is a difficult section to write, but revealing your inner feelings can help you with the healing process. Feel free to address your sister directly as you tell her how you’re feeling, and if you weren’t able to say goodbye before, use the opportunity to do so now.

4. Review and Revise as Necessary

You’ve finished the speech, so put down the pen or step back from the keyboard. You need to take a breather to relax and clear your mind. Writing a speech for your sister can cause many emotions to surface, so help yourself find balance by putting the speech aside for a day. When you come back to it, read over the speech and check for mistakes. You might want to read the speech out loud, too, since it can help alert you to sections that require alteration.

5. Practice Saying Your Speech

Don’t try to just practice the speech the night before. You need to give yourself a bit of time to feel comfortable speaking such an emotional tribute. If it helps, ask a friend or family member to listen to you go through the speech. Having at least one person sit before you can help to calm nerves and prepare you for a larger audience.

Whether she was the older sibling or the younger sibling, and whether she was the steady rock or the hurricane force wind, your sister was an important part of your life. Sibling relationships are full of depth and connection, and the one you shared with your sister won’t ever be forgotten.

A Few Examples

If you’re struggling to begin, please see below for two examples of how to write a eulogy for a sister.

Eulogy for an Older Sister

sunrise over beach

In this eulogy, the speaker recalls her older sister’s creative spirit and love of chatter, detailing how their sibling connection grew into friendship.

The Eulogy

Hello, everyone, and thank you for coming this evening.

Some of you might be wondering why the room is covered in row after row of hanging lights, and why there’s a campfire outside, with a table with sticks, chocolate bars, graham crackers and marshmallows nearby.

The answer to that is quite simple: Hallie loved those things. She loved camping, when she could lie back and see the stars. She loved roasting marshmallows and mashing them between graham crackers to make what she called “Hallie’s Comet S’mores.”

For those of you who don’t know me, let me introduce myself. My name is Skylar, and I was Hallie’s younger sister. I may have had the name she wanted, but she had the additional year of worldly experience, and nothing would prevent her from making that known.

Talkative to Her Core

As my grandfather loved to say, “Hallie can talk the hind legs off a donkey.” And talk she could, about anything and everything.

It certainly made for lively dinner conversations, and afternoons, and evenings when I tried to read quietly beneath the covers but kept losing my place because Hallie had yet another thought to share. “Hey Skylar” was her favorite opening line, and I knew that every time I heard those words we’d be in for a lengthy round of “How many words can Hallie say this time before taking a breath.”

With that said, it was an unnaturally quiet experience the day she moved out and got her first apartment. The house seemed empty, and it was at that moment I realized just how much she’d brought to my life.

We’d grown apart in our high school years, but in our university years we reconnected. Later on, camping trips with our own families became our favorite pastime, where we’d bring back stargazing and Hallie’s Comet S’mores.

True Talent

Apart from her love of chatter, Hallie was an accomplished artist. She took up oil painting, pottery and any kind of folk art. Her creativity was limitless, and I was always more than a little jealous of her talent.

I remember one time she bought some modeling clay and created the most delicate fairy imaginable. It had this blue and white dress, and the wings were almost like silk. The golden hair and intricately detailed face were gorgeous.

Did I tell her this? No. I’m sad to say I was too envious, too upset that any craft I made never turned out as well as hers.

She was talented beyond measure, and the way in which she could sit down at that crafting table and turn out something marvelous was incredible.

I stared at that fairy every day after school, disappearing into the kitchen whenever I heard her coming down the hall. One time she almost caught me, and her quizzical glance made me blurt out something stupid, something about losing an earring somewhere in the hutch.

I wish I’d told her the truth at that moment.

Overdue Appreciation

Just a few years ago, Hallie took up mosaic painting. She gave several of her finished works to the art gallery downtown, with the request that they be auctioned off and the proceeds donated to one of two charities.

I bought two of them. I kept it a secret until her birthday, when I invited her over and walked her through the living room. It was sweet when she looked up and saw her mosaic paintings over the fireplace. It made me so thankful to be her sister.

Hallie, I miss you so much. You were an amazing sister, even if it took me years to appreciate your unique charm.

Eulogy for a Younger Sister

peaceful forest

In this sample eulogy for a sister, the brother shows how he came to view his sister in a different light, and how his life changed for the better.

The Eulogy

Hi, everyone. I’m Logan and I want to start by thanking you for coming today. Talia would have loved to see so many familiar faces in the same room, all for her. She was forever encouraging all those family get-togethers, prompting our parents to book the lodge on Rainy Lake and send out “Save the Date” cards for another year of family fun.

She would never have taken credit for it, though. She’d rather sit off on the side and just watch everyone talking and laughing. For her, the greatest joy was just to be with everyone. To look around and see all the people who meant so much to her.

Forever Sparkling

She loved to laugh, but she’d laugh quietly. She loved to sing, but she’d sing silently. Talia moved in the shadows but she shone like the sun, and one look at the sparkle in her eyes said it all.

With three years between us, Talia and I didn’t always get along, or have much in common. And yes, more than once I shot off some comment about my “annoying little sister.” She tried to tag along on outings, far behind me on her bike and pedaling furiously to keep up with her big brother.

For several years I just laughed at her when she finally arrived, breathing heavily and all red in the face.

And then one year, I stopped laughing. I saw the effort it took her to get there. I saw the exhaustion that flickered across her face when she thought no one was looking. I saw my sister.

Making Up for Lost Time

Things between us got better after that. We started making playdates to go to the movies or the street fair. We started playing all sorts of video games together, with Talia beating me fairly often on a few of them.

Up until that point we’d never tried to do the one thing she wanted most. Believe it or not, it was to drive a monster truck. Mom was terrified, saying, “How can Talia do that? She’s too young. It’s dangerous!”

Taking Charge

A year ago, we made it happen. Talia and I drove together, and she had a blast. We went around at a slower speed, but Talia wanted more. She wanted to feel the rush.

I gave her the wheel, watching carefully for a sign that I needed to step in, but she was fantastic. She took us around the field, up and over small bumps, before heading for the one called Big Bad Granddaddy.

We went flying over that mound and she squealed, finally releasing a noise fit for her inner Talia. I’ll never forget the look on her face when we came to a stop. Her hair was wild around her face and her eyes were burning bright. I’d never been more proud of my sister than I was at that moment.

Talia, next year I’m going to beat the Super Bad Granddaddy, and I know you’ll be right there with me. We all miss you.

Do You Need Writing Assistance?

If you don’t know how to write a eulogy for your sister, you can rely on the speechwriters at Compose.ly to write a speech for you. After learning about your sister and how you want her to be remembered, they’ll create a speech that honors your sister in the best way possible.

This post was written by Compose.ly writer Emily Clayton.