On November 24, my little brother died from a rare inflammatory disease called dermatomyositis. Words can’t describe my emotions right now. We just got back home from Utah last night. I want so much for my brother to be alive with us. But he is gone and I can’t wrap my head around it. Life is moving forward without him, and I don’t like it one bit. Albert dropped off the girls to school this morning and I dropped off Elijah. I spent last night washing dishes and finished eight loads of laundry. I need to do my best to normalize my family’s schedule. Perhaps it will ease the pain. I feel numb.
I decided last night while I was lying in bed to take any energy I have and do some good — to help someone out there facing the same predicament. This blog post is dedicated to my brother. Writing today will be one way to remember him and help me grieve. I also wanted to write this blog post today to offer help and solace to someone in need, someone who is in the same position of wanting to write a touching funeral eulogy for their loved one but doesn’t know how to start.
It isn’t easy writing a eulogy. It is not an experience anyone expects. But I had the privilege of delivering a eulogy for my little brother, and I am so happy I did it despite how hard it was! I hope my tips and suggestions for writing a eulogy will guide you smoothly through this tender process.
If you would like to make a gift in Deboro’s memory, I would like to thank you in advance for your gift. He left behind his lovely wife and three beautiful little girls who love their daddy so much and want him back. It is so hard for little ones to understand death, let alone their own father. The scriptural message from Mosiah 18:8-9 resonates with me now more than ever: “Mourn with those who mourn.“
Tips to Writing and Delivering a Funeral Eulogy Step-by-Step
Introduce Yourself: Begin by introducing yourself and sharing your relationship to the deceased. In your introduction, make sure to acknowledge why you are all gathered together to honor the deceased and to say goodbye. If you are an immediate family member, thank those who have traveled far. If you are not a part of the family, express your condolences.
Create Order: It will be easier for the funeral attendees to follow your speech if you organize the information about your loved one in chronological order. Gather all of the biographical information from family members. Take the time to write everything down and go over the details. Don’t forget to include achievements, favorite foods, and interests. Reach out to family and friends to gather ideas, stories, and different perspectives.
Keep It Personal: Include special memories of your loved one. The audience will really love hearing personal stories of your loved one, especially if you were involved. In my eulogy, I delivered a short message in Cambodian to him and then recited it again in English.
Keep It Positive: Remember everyone gathered is mourning with you. Create a eulogy that shows respect to the deceased, acknowledging the importance of a special life and sharing some of the memories left behind. Write your eulogy with the funeral attendees in mind. When you remember these particular points, you can’t go wrong. As hard as it is to deliver a eulogy, it is the time to celebrate your loved one.
Proofread Your Work: It is funny that I am a blogger but struggle with writing. I often get editing help for my blog posts; writing a eulogy is no different. Proofreading and editing your eulogy is important.
Stay Calm: Writing out your eulogy verbatim is extremely helpful. Practicing out loud will help with your jitters. I stayed calm, collected and confident by taking a deep breathe when an overwhelming moment surfaced. Speaking slowly and clearly allowed me to focus on the delivery and tone I wanted to convey, which was peace and comfort.
Words of Comfort: Close your eulogy with saying goodbye to the deceased and/or you can address your comments to the audience. You can mention how your loved one impacted your life or taught you something. Take the time to offers words of comfort and say your final farewell.
While there is no one formal way to write a eulogy, having a certain framework will help you organize your thoughts and emotions. I know that between the pain and sorrow you may be feeling and the limited time you may have to draft a speech, the task will seem daunting. Remember these three things: Write a eulogy to show respect; write a eulogy to remember the impact of a loved one, and share memories left behind. You will be strengthened and feel peace in delivering a funeral eulogy that will be memorable and touching.
My Written Copy of My Little Brother’s Eulogy
Before sharing Deboro’s eulogy I had the privilege of reading his obituary beforehand which covered several tips that I shared above; this making my eulogy brief and touching. I would like to emphasize that “less is more” when writing a eulogy. Consider creating a eulogy that you can deliver in 5 – 10 minutes. Give your funeral attendees meaningful insight into the deceased and don’t ramble on. Share cherished memories that are significant and impactful to you. Remember there is no one right way to write a eulogy. Let your heart guide.
I will let you in on a little secret…I asked my brother for help in delivering my speech. I felt his calming presence strengthening me during this hard moment. I invite you to do the same before giving your eulogy. Remember to pray!
I want to thank you for being here to celebrate Deboro’s life and legacy. Seeing all of your beautiful faces, some familiar and some I have yet to meet, show all of us Deboro’s great impact and influence.
Although Deboro was my little brother, I have always considered him a giant in so many ways. Aside from his tall stature and enormous feet, what really took center stage was his huge heart.
Deboro had a heart of gold. A heart free of malice, greed or selfishness. There are so many times we sought solace, friendship, and advice from Deboro. We were drawn to his warm, gentle, authentic, intuitive manner and energy.
His compassionate heart guided his thoughts and actions and the ways he chose to spend his time and energy. Deboro was intentional and did not take anything in life for granted.
He always made himself available to his family and friends. He was always there.
There are so many examples of when he would freely give us his time and energy to lessen our load, to make our day a little bit better. His life was dedicated to service and spreading love. His giant heart taught us all to be better people.
Deboro, you are the ultimate example of the scripture in John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
I would like to close by sharing a brief message of love and comfort in Cambodian:
Little brother, you have left us.
But, you will live on in our hearts forever.
You are a good person, always helping others.
I will miss you alot.
Goodbye, my little brother.
I love you very much.
*The brief message was shared again in English.
Words cannot describe how amazing Deboro was. He is a silent messenger of peace. He taught us to live life with love.
Little brother, you made my life better than it was. You have made this world a better place to live in.
I will miss you so much. I love you.
Written Copy of Deboro Svay’s Obituary
This obituary was co-created by Deboro’s wife, Alana, her aunt, Helen and me. It was written to showcase Deboro’s beautiful life, hobbies, personality, and achievements. A eulogy and obituary are not the same, typically. The written content that you see online and in a newspaper is a death notice also known as an obituary – it is typically based on facts. However, in the case of Deboro’s obituary, it was written more as a ‘life script’ where both biological information and personal anecdotes were interwoven.
Deboro Svay, beloved husband, father, son, brother, cousin, and friend, passed away at University Hospital in Salt Lake City on Sunday, November 24, 2019, in the embrace of his wife and surrounded by family. He died of dermatomyositis, a rare inflammatory disease. In his last months, he endured tremendous pain and complications, but never gave up on his dream of coming home to his family. His body simply could not go on.
Deboro was born in Salt Lake City on June 22, 1979, to parents who had come to the U.S. from Cambodia. In his early years, Deboro lived with his mother and sister in a large, extended household of uncles, an aunt, cousins, and his maternal grandparents. He grew up speaking Cambodian, was a translator for the non-English-speaking members of his family, and used the skill later on his LDS mission.
As a child, Deboro loved reading and collecting comic books and had a big collection he was very proud of. He even made a paper-mache mask of one of his favorite comic book characters, Spider-Man’s nemesis, Venom.
Deboro loved sports and was a talented athlete. He enjoyed boating and excelled at snowboarding and basketball. He grew up playing in Junior Jazz basketball leagues. He was an avid sports fan and loved the Utah Jazz and University of Utah football team, whose games he attended for many years with close friends.
It seems only fitting that his recent passion was flying his drones. He loved exploring new places and capturing wonderful memories. Whether he was boating, snowboarding, racing his car, or hiking with his family, he loved seeing sites from heaven’s view.
Deboro was born with a passion for cars. As a teenager, he worked at the local car wash, mowed lawns, and saved every penny he earned to purchase his first dream car: a blue Toyota truck with monster wheels. His passion continued into adulthood. He was always buying cars and reselling them for a higher value; he loved finding deals for family and friends.
Deboro was a man of deep faith. He grew up Buddhist and was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age 14. He shared his baptism day with his sister, Debbie, who was 16, making it especially meaningful. When he was older, he served faithfully in the Sacramento California Mission. Though he had been called to a Laotian-speaking mission, he was transferred to Cambodian-speaking upon entry into the mission field and had to learn to read and write Cambodian through his own study.
Upon returning home, Deboro attended Utah Valley University and graduated with a degree in business (the second person in his family to graduate from college). He was a gifted salesman, with a career focused on software sales.
Deboro met his future wife Alana Jean Peterson at the University of Utah in 2006. They married on September 22, 2007, in the Salt Lake Temple. Starting with their honeymoon in the Dominican Republic they enjoyed traveling together to places like Paris, Barcelona, Whistler, Maui, New York, and Costa Rica. Together they made a loving home for their three daughters, Elle, Scarlett, and Ivy in the Daybreak community of South Jordan.
As his daughters grew, he spent his free time creating adventures with them. He enjoyed taking them out on Oquirrh Lake in kayaks and boats. He was always inventing ways to have fun with them. When the kayak didn’t work one afternoon for two-year-old Ivy, he put her in a giant swan inner tube and towed her behind him. He simply didn’t rest until he made things work out for others.
Deboro was a man with a huge heart and so many friends. He gave everyone he met the gift of his attention and respect. If you asked Deboro for help he got to work. We know he’ll be watching over his wife, daughters, family, and friends from the other side. That’s who he is.
We love you, Deboro. We miss you so much.
The family feels blessed to have had so many devoted friends, relatives, ward members, neighbors, co-workers, community members, and caring strangers step in to help during his long stay in the ICU. We are especially grateful for the doctors, nurses, and many medical professionals that thoughtfully cared for him.
Deboro is survived by his wife Alana; daughters Elle, Scarlett, and Ivy; parents Sanary (Ngin) and Dorian Sanchez; sister Debbie (Albert) Savage; nieces Emi, Chloe and nephew Elijah; and a huge family of in-laws, aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was predeceased by his maternal grandparents San Ngin and Sath Mom Ngin and his biological father, Komar Svay.
Memorial contributions may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/let039s-rally-together-for-The-svays
Pallbearers: Andy Rowell, Greg Pferdner, Michael A. Peterson, John Michael Peterson, Nick Odom, Bret Newton, Darren Kirkham, Kacey Evans, Dave Watkins, Albert Savage, Dorian Sanchez.
Viewing Sunday, December 1, 6 to 8 p.m., and funeral services Monday, December 2, at 11 a.m. at the LDS Stake Center located at 4517 W. Mille Lacs Dr. in South Jordan. Burial services immediately following at Memorial Redwood Cemetery, 6500 S Redwood Road, Taylorsville.
Deboro’s online obituary.
Thank you for reading this entire blog post. I know this material isn’t the typical content I share and is quite personal. But, I wanted to honor my brother and it feels so good to write about this experience. I hope my tips and suggestions for writing a eulogy will guide someone out there and provide comfort during this tender and raw moment.
His passing came to quickly and creating this post has given me a great sense of peace. I hope you have enjoyed reading this even though you may not know me personally or my brother. Thank you again for stopping by!
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