Writing a Eulogy
Advice on preparing and giving a eulogy. Writing a eulogy, and subsequently giving a eulogy, is something that nobody wants to do. For it pre-supposes the death of someone we have loved or cared about.
Nevertheless, it is a privilege and an honour to be asked to give a tribute to someone who has died, or to volunteer to do so.
A eulogy is more than just a spoken obituary, it is an opportunity to give a word of 'Thanks' that you may not have done before. Unfortunately, many of us are shy of coming forwards, and rarely tell our friends and loved ones what they really mean to us. Then one day, it's too late. Except, for the person writing a eulogy, or giving a eulogy, it's not too late. There is this final opportunity.
So what should you say. You should say 'the truth'!
It seems pretty obvious doesn't it. But it's the hardest thing in the world to do.
However saintly someone may have been, nobody is perfect. It's the imperfections that make us who we are and which so often give us our character.
That's not to say that you have to make a meal of it! But the person you are writing the eulogy for has to be recognised by everyone, and that means telling it like it is, “Warts an' all”
I've made some tremendous mistakes in my life. Haven't we all?
So a good eulogy would acknowledge those mistakes, and highlight the good that came from them. I'm the sum of my mistakes, but they are the things that have made my life interesting and unique. They are the things that I've learnt from and that have made me what I am today.
Of course, like everyone else, I've made some really excellent decisions too, and these also deserve a mention.
It's just that, my life, like most peoples life, has been a mixture of ups and downs, good and bad, laughter and tears. Any eulogy worth the name would include both. Only including one half of the coin would make the eulogy rather flat and uninteresting. Dare I say boring.
My life, like most peoples lives, has been far from boring. My eulogy, like most peoples, deserves to describe me as I've been, not how I'd like to have been.
A real eulogy, and a real tribute, tells it like it is. Isn't it the truth, that you loved your partner, or your friend, 'just as they were'?
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