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A Eulogy for My Brother | Tips to Writing and Delivering a Funeral Eulogy Step-by-Step

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.

A Eulogy for My Brother | Tips to Writing and Delivering a Funeral Eulogies Step-by-Step

A Eulogy for My Brother | Tips to Writing and Delivering a Funeral Eulogy Step-by-Step
My handsome brother with the million-dollar smile.

I decided last night while I was lying in bed to take any energy I have and do some goodto 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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
He puts family before himself. Left to right. Late grandfather San Ngin, late grandmother Sath Ngin, Sanary Ngin Sanchez (mom) with Emi Savage (baby) and Deboro.

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.

A Eulogy for My Brother | Tips to Writing and Delivering a Funeral Eulogy Step-by-Step

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
Cousins are connected heart to heart. Left to right: Debbie Svay Savage (me), Peter Ly (cousin), Deboro, and Jeanine Ly Chhim (cousin).

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.

 

A Eulogy for My Brother | Tips to Writing and Delivering a Funeral Eulogies Step-by-Step

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. 

A Eulogy for My Brother | Tips to Writing and Delivering a Funeral Eulogy Step-by-Step
Don’t you just love Deboro’s cute red bowtie?
My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother https://youtu.be/NNZp28i5ZeoMy Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
Deboro’s mission photo. I love this shot of him! He served an LDS Mission Cambodian Speaking in Sacramento, CA for two years serving the Lord.

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.

A Eulogy for My Brother | Tips to Writing and Delivering a Funeral Eulogy Step-by-Step
Deboro is not quite prepared to meet Santa Claus.

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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
One of our many visits to see Deboro at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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.

A Eulogy for My Brother | Tips to Writing and Delivering a Funeral Eulogy Step-by-Step
Look at the swagger! Deboro was a total fan of the Utah Jazz and loved playing basketball.

 

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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother https://youtu.be/NNZp28i5Zeo
Sister and brother love is forever!

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.”

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
Cousins are like fudge. Mostly sweet with a few nuts. Left to right (top): Deboro and me. Maryanna and Thavy, cousins (bottom).

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. 

A Eulogy for My Brother | Tips to Writing and Delivering a Funeral Eulogy Step-by-Step
This is my happy place with my brother.

 

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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
My brother is my hero. He never stopped believing he would get better (connected to ECMO and ventilator through tracheotomy). He was positive every minute determined to get strong and leave the hospital. I love you Deboro and MISS you so much!

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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
He was the perfect uncle to my kids. Always making them laugh and asking questions about their lives. Emi (as a toddler) loved her uncle!

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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
I spy someone with big feet. I mentioned in my eulogy about his enormous feet! But, you want to know what is bigger? His compassionate heart! Left to right: Deboro, me, Momma, Auntie Davy Ly, and Cousin Jeanine Ly Chhim.

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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
We are the cool kids! I am really loving these vintage vibes. I wish you were still here Deboro.

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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
Honored Deboro’s passing with a special Cambodian Ceremony at the Buddhist Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. Left to right: Dorian Sanchez (father), Sanary Sanchez (mother), Thavy Ngin Spears (cousin), Chloe Savage (my daughter), Marcus Spears (Thavy’s husband) with Braylon Spears (nephew), Buddhist Monk, Elijah Savage (my son), Emi Savage (my daughter), me and Albert Savage (my husband).
My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
Deboro is back home from his LDS Mission serving the Cambodian communities of Sacramento California. He loved his cousin Tina Ly Fidler! We are so proud of you Deboro.

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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
Way to go Deboro! He graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in business. Second person in our family to graduate from an university.

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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
Celebrating our late grandmother’s birthday together as a family. Left to right (back row): Monorum Ngin (cousin), Philipe Ngin (cousin), Johnny Chhim (Jeanine’s husband), Jeanine Chhim (cousin), Peter Ly (cousin), Kong Ly (uncle), Davy Ly (aunt), Tina Ly Fidler (cousin), David Fidler (Tina’s husband), me, Albert Savage (my husband), Alana Peterson Svay (my SIL), Deboro and Ivy Svay (my niece – cute baby). Left to right (middle row): Sanary Ngin Sanchez (my momma), late Sath Mom Ngin (grandmother), and Dorian Sanchez (father) and Moneca Ngin (cousin). Left to right (bottom row): Chloe Savage (my daughter), Elijah Savage (my son), Scarlett Svay (my niece), Elle Svay (my niece) and Emi Savage (my daughter).

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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
A Dammit Doll featuring Deboro’s sweet face.

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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
Leaving a personal message for Deboro at his burial site. Words can’t express how I feel at this moment. It is hard to embrace the reality.

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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
Our roots say we are cousins. Our heart says we are friends. From left to right: Peter Ly (cousin), Tina Ly Fidler (cousin), Jeanine Ly Chhim (cousin) and Deboro. xo

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.

My Funeral Eulogy For My Brother
Previewing Deboro’s burial spot at Redwood Memorial Cemetery. He will be resting in peace next to my grandparents San and Sath Ngin. Left to right: Albert Savage (my husband), me, Dorian Sanchez (dad) and Sanary Ngin Sanchez (momma).

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.

A Eulogy for My Brother | Tips to Writing and Delivering a Funeral Eulogy Step-by-Step
The greatest gift my parents ever gave me is my brother!

A Eulogy for My Brother | Tips to Writing and Delivering a Funeral Eulogies Step-by-Step

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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@debbiessavage + @savagemaison

 

 

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24 Comments

  1. MINDI OVERSTREET
    December 5, 2019 / 2:28 pm

    Debbie, I am so sorry for the loss of Doboro. I didn’t know him, but he sounds so much like you, always with a giant heart. I will keep his family in my prayers, as I can’t imagine how difficult this is fir his wife and children. May you feel peace, and know he is watching over you. ❤

  2. Cortney
    December 5, 2019 / 3:42 pm

    Love you Debbie! Your remarks at the funeral were beautiful! And I love all these pictures, they display so much love! ❤️

  3. December 5, 2019 / 3:53 pm

    You give such a beautiful and heartfelt eulogy for you beloved brother, Deboro.
    I donated some money to the Go Fund……. love to you and your family during this very sad time!!

  4. December 5, 2019 / 6:22 pm

    Now I wish I had known your brother! He was such a good gentle and kind person it sounds like, like you! Man. I am sorry you have to bear the grief of losing him in this life. Thank you for sharing everything about this day and I’ll pray as each day goes by that it will get easier to bear but that you’ll never forget him. xoxo

  5. December 5, 2019 / 6:43 pm

    I am just so sorry for your loss Debbie. The love for your brother is just so obvious from this post and the world has lost such a bright light. And I didn’t know that he died of dermatomyositis, that’s actually what I treat and I wish I could’ve been there to help save him.

  6. Jackie
    December 5, 2019 / 6:46 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your words are beautiful. He sounds like he was an incredible person and I can see how much he was loved.

  7. susan hartman
    December 5, 2019 / 10:51 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Being human is not easy. Peace be with you and your family.

  8. Amanda
    December 6, 2019 / 11:49 am

    Wow, I am so very sorry for your loss. I pray your family has peace. All your words are so beautiful!

  9. December 6, 2019 / 12:26 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. He sounded like an amazing man. Your words are truly beautiful and helpful for others. I think it’s amazing that you took something so personal and wrote about how to then help others who might have to go through something so painful as well.

  10. December 6, 2019 / 1:05 pm

    Oh my goodness I am so incredibly sorry to hear about your loss. I’m keeping you and your family in my thoughts during this very difficult time.

  11. December 6, 2019 / 1:15 pm

    I can’t fathom how difficult this must have been!!! My deepest condolences to you for your loss, your writing is beautiful and heartfelt.

  12. December 6, 2019 / 2:14 pm

    So sorry for your loss. You painted a beautiful picture of your brother’s life.

  13. December 6, 2019 / 7:45 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss of such a beautiful brother. But I am glad you got to honor him in such a special way. Prayers to your family for strength and peace.

  14. December 7, 2019 / 4:43 am

    I’m so, so sorry for your loss. It’s so heartbreaking and difficult when we loss a loved one, especially so soon.
    Sending much love to you and your family.

  15. Melissa Cushing
    December 7, 2019 / 12:42 pm

    I have to say that you have done an amazing job of celebrating your brother and I am very sorry for your loss.

  16. Joanna
    December 8, 2019 / 11:05 am

    I am very sorry to hear about your brother’s passing, condolences! Your eulogy to him is very touching

  17. December 8, 2019 / 7:52 pm

    I can’t imagine all the heartache you and your family had gone through, but to see that smile he had… it just brought tears to my eyes. Love that he stayed positive ’til the end.

  18. December 9, 2019 / 8:27 am

    So sorry for your loss Debbie. A brother is just unconditional love. You have described him in an amazing way that only a sister could do.

  19. Susan1375
    December 9, 2019 / 8:23 pm

    Sorry for the loss of your brother, he sounds a very brave determined man. . Your eulogy is beautiful and your advice helpful

  20. Ruth I
    December 11, 2019 / 4:08 am

    I am so sorry to hear about your brother. Sometimes there are things we just can’t prevent. He’s on a good place now

  21. Princess Quinn
    December 11, 2019 / 4:09 am

    The two of you looks very close. It is devastating what happened to him. He sure indeed has a wonderful smile.

  22. Lily
    December 11, 2019 / 2:18 pm

    Sorry to hear about your brother. This was a beautiful eulogy from the heart but I know it was also painful to create it. Thanks for sharing this.

  23. Erin (Holmes)Anderson
    January 28, 2020 / 8:40 am

    Deb I’m so sorry for the loss of your brother. I don’t know if you remember Scott (my little brother) but I know he and Debro knew each other when we were friends. Scott passed away on Christmas Eve 2019. I know your pain and I’m sorry… just thinking of you.

  24. April 14, 2020 / 3:45 pm

    I can share this information with buddies of mine and get their enjoyment from the specified material too.
    Allow such info be!

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