Many consider writing and delivering a eulogy an honor and a great privilege. But what if you’re one who dreads this task, and compares it to researching and writing a term paper due at the end of the semester. Procrastinating will not eliminate this endeavor, so why not plan accordingly, whether it’s your own eulogy or a friend’s or family member’s.
Not long ago, I visited an elderly woman and we discussed her wishes for her eulogy. I was a bit uncomfortable with this topic, but figured since she mentioned it, I should give her my full attention. I listened and was enthralled as she talked about growing up during the Great Depression and …
how her parents almost lost the family farm. She laughed about sharing everything with her many siblings including hand-me-down clothes, toys, and farm chores. I tried to imagine what it was like to grow up, leave home, marry, and then start a family in an era of party line telephones, three channels on the television, no computers, and no social media avenues for staying in touch with friends. She spoke of her unwavering belief in God and how prayers sustained her through the tough times.
When asked how she wanted to be remembered in her eulogy, she said, “I want it written for my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren. I want them to know my favorite color, my favorite food, the places I’ve traveled, the volunteer work I’ve done, and that I had a rewarding and long life despite many hardships and disappointments along the way.”
I actually was in awe of this woman who so generously shared her life’s stories with me. I came away from our conversation with a renewed spirit and outlook for writing someone’s eulogy. Although the funeral of a loved one is always difficult, I realized the eulogy is one way to pay tribute to them and celebrate their life.
A eulogy is an opportunity to reflect and honor the deceased and to aid in dealing with grief. Have you thought about your own eulogy? Will you be responsible for writing someone else’s eulogy? What will you say? What stories would your loved one want shared at that time?
My book the Lifetime Legacy Planner contains 10 chapters and one specifically regarding funeral arrangements and preferences. The Funeral Chapter can be purchased as a stand-alone and is a great way to get your information documented and wishes known.