When James died, we asked for help. We split up his service into several parts, and asked people to help us. We each picked out a reading or a poem and asked friends to read them. We asked an aunt to write a prayer and a blessing. We asked family members to write out stories about him and share them in front of the gathering. We asked a family member to play a guitar piece.
Then, for our part, we stood in front of five candles. Beforehand we had written out our five favorite things about James. We talked about each one, and as we started talking we lit a candle. We each took turns talking. Then when all five candles were lit, we took our candles and lit the candles of the people nearest us. They passed the light on while music played, at at the end we all stood looking at each other with the candles lit and the silence after the song.
The funeral home had connected us with a reverend (we aren't religious, but he was comfortable with that). He was wonderful in connecting all the pieces of our service. At the end of our candle-lighting and our eulogy, he said a few short sentences about saying goodbye to our James. We blew out the candles and that was the end.
For us, breaking down what we wanted to say into five "favorite" things about him made it so much easier to concentrate on his life and our love for him--rather than the tragedy of his death. It also made it easy to be very personal...to share short stories and examples of why we loved those things about him, and to let the people there know who James was. He was just a little kid, so most of the people at the service didn't know him...I think what we said might have given them a window into the special little soul he was.
I think I put a copy of parts of it in the thread about him in this forum. It should be in a post somewhere around October 14th.
I know it's hard.
Write from the heart, and don't feel it has to be any one way or any certain length.
I'm sorry for your loss.