Pardon me. I know this might come off as morose. However, there may be a reason you need to write a eulogy. And, like most, consider it an insurmountable task.
I was just a child when I attended my first funeral. Unfortunately, it was the death of my infant sister. I remember few particulars. Little Yvonne was dressed in a long communion dress and lie in a tiny white casket.
At any rate, I recall another bizarre detail. An incredible one, that I’m not even sure was true.
I have a vivid memory of a little old lady. She was dressed in black from head to toe. Moreover, she tied a black kerchief under her chin. The sounds coming from her still resound in my head. As a matter of fact, deep moans and piercing screeches permeated the silence.
She was obviously quite distressed by my sister’s death.
Frankly, no one else knew her either. Others acknowledged her, but did not know her name.
It was rumored that she was a professional mourner.
In any case, I am not sure if that means someone paid her for services. (Certainly, my parents didn’t). However, I now understand her devotion. I feel a burning obligation to honor the dead.
I prefer words. To me, a eulogy is one of the most important worldly documents.
What Goes Into a Eulogy
Regrettably, a dear friend of mine just died. By and large, it has been one of the most inconceivable losses of my lifetime. For many reasons.
I would honor my deceased loved one here with her picture and the words that were the basis for my eulogy. Only, she was a private person. And, I respected her wishes from beyond.
Like the professional mourner, I realize that passing is significant. Too many go without remembrances.
Wouldn’t it be something if we could prepare our own eulogies? And, make sure that only the words we want said are presented?
Some might say that the dead can’t hear you anyway. That’s a spiritual discussion I’m not prepared to have. In the meantime, here are some suggestions if you have decided to prepare a eulogy:
- Acknowledge the closest family members and offer condolences
- Let people know the basis of your relationship to the deceased
- Time yourself. Anything over ten minutes is too long.
- Remember to preserve confidences.
- Don’t just recite a biography. Intertwine interesting stories.
- Be funny. Be sentimental.
Incidentally, you need to dismiss other thoughts when delivering a eulogy. There’s no need to make a public apology. Even if you somehow failed the decedent.
It’s not about YOU. Above all, focus on the departed.
Delivering the Eulogy
Apparently, professional mourners are a reality. There is even a word for them. They are known as moirologists.
Strangely enough, it seems families sometimes pay mourners to show up at funerals and wakes. Otherwise, their loved ones might look less missed. Or, even unloved.
Some professional mourners even give heartfelt eulogies.
If you think I am inventing a new profession, you might want to read this article.
Frankly, it’s a career I would consider. I would love to help the bereaved put their thoughts into words. But, I’d also be honored to speak on their behalf.
I am dead serious. (Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best play on words.)
We Can Help
At Writefully Inspired, honoring the dead is one of our most important tasks. If you are having problems putting together a eulogy, we can help. We’ll even deliver it if you just can’t find yourself at the podium. Drop us a line or give us a call. We know the importance of time and will be there for you.