May 10, 2003

An Incomplete Eulogy

At the risk of diminishing the whole by excerpting, I offer this fragment from Rana at Eclectic Mind, about the death of an eccentric unappreciated aunt and the life of a memory. Now go read it all.

I did something tonight for which I’ll probably pay on Saturday. When Aunt K. died Mother hired a rent-a-preacher. He had a typed sermon with blanks for the deceased’s name. He wrote her name in the first blank, but not the others, so that when he made it to page two, he had to flip back to the first sheet to see what to call the dearly departed. I couldn’t run the risk of sitting through another utilitarian service arranged by my Mother who treated K.’s death and now E.’s as a supreme inconvenience.

I called the minister who will be delivering the eulogy and told him some things about E., about her love of beautiful things, her elegant handwriting, and the conundrum she faced in balancing her love for cats with her hobby of raising birds. Mother will do a fine job of running down the vital statistics but I think E. deserves something more than the standard West Texas Funeral Sermon. I can summarize it quickly if you’re unfamiliar with the text. “She fought the good fight through the valley of the shadow of death and went on to the house not made with hands. Amen.” (Of course a guy in a shiny suit at a pulpit can get a good 45 minutes out of that.)

What would you want said about your life and purpose at your final ceremony that may be lost in the lifeless 'vital statistics' of when and where?

Posted by fred1st at May 10, 2003 05:41 AM | TrackBack

I am one of those people who shudders at the very thought of a eulogy and funeral service.

I believe that whatever statment you made with your life is done at that point. Those who love/know me well, will on occasion recall some endearing trait or hear a fond phrase...a bit of music...see me in a flower or the glint of a dog's eye.

I will be on to the next adventure.

Posted by: feste at May 12, 2003 01:01 PM

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