Jump to content

Welcome to Christian Writers!

We are a friendly community built around Christian writing, publishing, reading and fellowship. Register or sign in today to join in the fun!

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Have you ever written an eulogy and/or delivered it?   For a family member?   

 

For me, yes to all the above about five years ago.   I was asked to do this after a long ride home for the funeral.   During a restless sleep that night, I got up several times to jot fragments of ideas and a few anecdotes.    The next morning, I wrote a sloppy draft on about 5 pages of hotel stationery.  I used the hotel's desktop PC to produce a double-spaced draft.

 

As siblings gathered later that day, I asked two of them who are the emotional leaders to read the draft and give ideas for editing.   I would have left it at that, but as other siblings found out about the eulogy, they asked me to read it.   No one at these readings gave inputs, but the huddles allowed times for fruitful mourning (a lot of crying, laughing, praying and sharing stories).    For myself, these times helped me to also prepare emotionally for the eulogy delivery.   My mourning at these "dry runs" made some of my siblings wonder if I would get through the address.   I did, only because the prepping allowed me to understand what hopeful, Christian mourning is.

 

Now, I have another family member who is advanced in years.   The Lord knows whether both of us, one of us, or neither of us will be living at His 2nd Coming.   Because this family member might predecease me, I've sensed the need to create a document with eulogy ideas, because I would likely be asked to deliver, again.   I was hesitant at  first, thinking it perhaps arrogant or presumptuous.  But, I have a document with a lot of ideas.  I have peace about it.   Have any of you been in a similar situation?

 

Some thoughts about eulogy writing:

* If you think you might be asked to write an eulogy down the line, look at some templates on the internet, at least for the Intro and Concluding remarks.

* Think about whether the eulogy might simply be an amplification of the obituary, or on something all the way to the other end of the spectrum:  wistful memories.   My thinking is that the body of the delivery should be reverent, considerate and creative.  

* Consider writing anything from some bullet points to a fairly completed draft ahead of time.    At the least, a mental sketch of the flow.

* Have it in-mind to take a laptop with you and consider how it might be printed.   I don't think we're at the point where society will permit the reading of an eulogy from the laptop! :)  Probably not in my lifetime ;)

* As with any of your writing, watch out for unintentional puns and allusions.   If not caught before the reading, you might get some gasps or cathartic laughs.   Like above this:   I at first wrote "skeleton" but then changed it to "bullet points"

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ragamuffin_John
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is always a tough one for family members to write.  I always advise writing it down (preferably typed). I suggest that they have any doubts about their ability to give it on the day they should eithr ask someone else to read it or have someone on standby. In some situations I have read it out on behalf o the family or had to sstep in once or twice.

Consulting other members or close friends is important too. Part of  a funeral Service is celebrating and giving thanks for the person's life so sharing memories is is a good way to do this and can be healing too.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, @Ragamuffin_John! I am currently caring for family members with dementia, and this is something to think about for later on. 

 

As for your situation, my advice is to have an open conversation with your family member about what you both want when you pass away. I have helped to plan a few funerals with people who knew they did not have much longer left, and while it can be uncomfortable for some at first, it is easier as you go along. For many, it is a great relief to know that their wishes will be carried out. 

 

And don't make my mistake! Eulogies were something I never thought about for the first funeral I planned, and then everyone wanted to get up and talk. That can be a problem if you have a lot of people. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20+ years ago, we were friends with a couple who were missionaries/evangelists for West Philly. They had a 20 month old son.

 

He died of SIDS the night before Easter. Add to that horror, it is mandatory to perform an autopsy on the child to make sure it wasn't abuse. We were all sure it wasn't abuse, but both parents were still questioning if they did something that caused this. How can you not, when you put your baby to bed safe and sound, only to find him dead the next morning?

 

He. the father, gave the eulogy. There families were there. Everyone who knew them was there, and that's saying a lot, since his ministry was to reach the down and out for counseling and letting them know who God is. (Not everyone was saved yet.)

 

I will never forget his words. Here is his eulogy.

 

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you." (2 Cor. 4:7-12)

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had to deliver an eulogy twice. Once for my father and once for my wife. It is easier if the person was a Christian. Then you can uplift the people with the reassurance that they are in heaven. And if you want to see them again then repent and receive Jesus. I've never given a eulogy for an unsaved person, I would imagine that would be hard. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/15/2019 at 8:23 PM, Spaulding said:

20+ years ago, we were friends with a couple who were missionaries/evangelists for West Philly. They had a 20 month old son.

 

He died of SIDS the night before Easter. Add to that horror, it is mandatory to perform an autopsy on the child to make sure it wasn't abuse. We were all sure it wasn't abuse, but both parents were still questioning if they did something that caused this. How can you not, when you put your baby to bed safe and sound, only to find him dead the next morning?

 

He. the father, gave the eulogy. There families were there. Everyone who knew them was there, and that's saying a lot, since his ministry was to reach the down and out for counseling and letting them know who God is. (Not everyone was saved yet.)

 

I will never forget his words. Here is his eulogy.

 

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you." (2 Cor. 4:7-12)

Well said. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MaryKaithe, I'm sorry but there's no way for us to bring back your comment. It's gone. I don't know what happened. All I can think is that you didn't save it. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's ok Lynn.  What I wrote was about a testimony of my Father-In-Laws acceptance of Christ just before he passed.  I should write it more concisely anyway. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.