Writing a Eulogy for Your Father-in-Law That Honors His Spirit

Published May 12, 2021
Woman giving eulogy to her father-in-law

The loss of a father-in-law has a double impact. You are grieving for your loss while emotionally supporting your spouse, who is also grieving. You want your words to honor the man you knew and to lessen your spouse's burden. When writing a euology for your father-in-law, a couple of examples can help you find a good balance between paying tribute and offering words of comfort.

Pay Tribute to Your Relationship

One way to pay tribute to your father-in-law is to share a story that personifies your relationship. You may use this story as the foundation for your eulogy and ending with an uplifting message.

Greeting and Welcome

Thank you for being here today to honor Bill Taylor and his life.

Introduction of Who Your Father-in-Law Was

My father-in-law, Bill Taylor, didn't like me the first time we met. He was very standoffish and didn't make any move to really bond with me. I instinctively knew I had to prove to him that I was worthy of calling him my father-in-law. I could certainly tell by his actions that he didn't think I was worthy of his daughter.

Share a Touching Story

In fact, two months after my marriage to Meggie, my father-in-law invited me on a fishing trip. To say I was nervous is a gross understatement. By the time I met him at the boat, I had practiced all the things I would say to him, so he would finally believe I was worthy of his daughter.

Before I could say the first thing I'd practiced, he greeted me with a big hug and patted me on the back. He then said, "Until you accepted my invitation for this trip, I was afraid you'd never think me worthy enough to be a father-in-law to you."

I was dumbfounded. He went on to tell how my wife had confided in him about my childhood and that he'd tried to hang back to give me time to adjust to him, since he knew how I felt about my relationship with my father. That ice-breaking admission was the beginning of one of the most rewarding relationships I've had in my life, second only to the one I have with his daughter.

Closing Tribute

Bill Taylor was so much more to me than a father-in-law. He was my best friend. He was the mentor and father I always wanted. When he passed, I felt as though the very ground had crumbled away underneath my feet. But then I found a note he wrote to me for this very day and even after his death, I realized he was still being a father to me. His words restored my equilibrium and placed me once more on firm ground, the same way he did on that fated fishing trip.

Bill Taylor gave everything he had to those he loved. He never held back. He taught me how to be the very best person I can be, and I will never let him down. Thanks, Bill. May you rest in peace, my father.

Microphones on the funeral podium

Share Stories That Demonstrate His Character

Perhaps you understood your father-in-law better than some people. You may have an appreciation for the person he was. This gives you an insight into his character that you can share, to illustrate how special he was to you.

Opening to Welcome

Good afternoon. Thank you for being here today with Josh Allen's family. We have been greatly touched by all the stories of Josh Allen that you've shared with us over the past couple of days.

Introduction About Your Father-in-Law

To look at Josh Allen, my father-in-law, you wouldn't think of him as having a big heart. He looked like a linebacker whose handshake was so strong you worried he might break a few bones before he released your hand. But Josh had a very big heart. He loved this community, and everyone who knew Josh loved him.

He had a way with people. Josh was an instant friend to anyone he met. And, as you all know, he loved to feed people. His diner has always been the busiest place in town. But there was a side of Josh that only his family, employees, and maybe a few friends got to see that showed just how huge his heart really was.

Share a Few Stories About His Generosity

Every week, Josh donated food to the homeless shelter, but he went beyond that. He would go down to the bridge where the homeless camp is and pass out hot coffee and burgers almost every night. When the weather was cold, he'd load up his van with blankets, firewood, and more hot coffee. He was always doing something to help others.

My husband and I have heard story after story during the past week about how Josh helped them. One couple told us how Josh had fed their family for a month while they were both out of work. There were days when Josh's generosity provided them with the only meal they had for that day.

My father-in-law used to tell me that in order to help people, you first need to make them feel human again. Josh did just that every day of his life. He knew how to make people feel valued. From his customers, his family, and friends, to those without a home, Josh saw each one of us as a person of great value.

Leave Them With a Wonderful Vision

I know Josh is probably up in heaven right now, cooking and feeding everyone who comes through those pearly gates. It was my greatest honor in life, to be the daughter-in-law of such an amazing and generous man. Rest in peace, Josh.

Tips for Personalizing Your Tribute

Storytelling is what makes a eulogy a tribute to the person's life. The sentiments you want to convey in your eulogy for your father-in-law or anyone else, should reflect the type of relationship you had. If the two of you enjoyed sharing jokes or pranks, then you can touch on his favorite joke or funniest prank. Other examples include how you engaged in long discussions, baked family meals together, or watched football games together. By sharing a brief memory others get a glimpse into what this person meant to you and how he touched your life.

Other vignettes about his importance to your family, his work, his contributions to his church, charities, or the community add layers to his life story and what he meant to others. When you personalize a eulogy, you make the relationship you had with the deceased relatable and there's no better tribute to someone you love than allowing others to see them through your eyes.

Your Eulogy for a Beloved Father-in-Law

You can take the opportunity to write a eulogy that illustrates the person your father-in-law was. By sharing a few short stories that highlight his best attributes, you can ease the pain of those grieving.

Writing a Eulogy for Your Father-in-Law That Honors His Spirit