One of the hardest things you will ever write is the eulogy for your mom and dad. What makes it even harder is you'll do it during a very stressful time in your life. My mom died four and a half years ago. I remember lying
awake in the spare bedroom at their home thinking how can I possibly sum up my dear sweet mom's life in just a few minutes?
My dad and brothers had met with the funeral home director and priest that morning and the priest told me to keep my talk short. I still can't believe he said that, but he did. What I think he meant was prepare your presentation. It is so easy to be overcome with emotion and if you don't have your words prepared believe me they will escape you when you need them most.
A eulogy is the highest honor you have at your parent's funeral.
What came to me in the middle of the night is advice I'd like to share with you.
I decided to organize the celebration of my mom's life by the different roles she had played.
She was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother and a friend. This helped me to highlight each aspect. It also gives you a chance to embrace those attending the funeral. When I mentioned her role as a sister, I could see her two surviving brothers and her sister nodding in agreement as I talked about their good times together. When I mentioned her role as grandmother, the grandkids perked up and paid extra attention. And as tough as it was, when I mentioned her love for my dad, he too looked right at me, and I knew he was thanking me for being able to talk about how special Charlotte was and always will be.
When it came time for me to give the eulogy at my dad's funeral, I took a slightly different approach. One that I think could work for any child struggling with what to say at such a difficult time.
My dad and I spent many hours together while he struggled with pancreatic cancer. It gave me an opportunity to learn about my dad. He had always been the quiet, hard-working type and there were many things about him I never knew. I structured his eulogy by describing the things I didn't know and how wonderful it was to learn about them. Those attending who did know these particular details nodded as they remembered my dear dad.
Everyone's story is different, and you will need to fill in the details. But I hope by offering two ways in which to structure your parent's life story, you will connect with those in attendance and know that you have honored your mother or father. And they would be proud.
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