Thursday, April 5, 2012

Putting The You In Eulogy


The other day I had some time to kill, so I thought it might be fun to write my eulogy. My plan was to keep it short and sweet with a few laughs, and meaningful experiences for good measure. I know my brother would be happy to deliver my eulogy, as he gave a hilarious toast at our wedding, not to mention our boys' Bar Mitzvahs. Even my mother-in-law said that my brother's toast was the highlight of her grandson's Bar Mitzvah.

I suspect that my brother has already started writing my eulogy, but I wanted to ensure that at least part of it was about me. Suddenly, I drew a blank. I didn't know where to begin, so I did some research when I happened upon Eulogies Made Easy. This fascinating book by Margaret Marquisi and Rev. Mark Long promises all of the answers to even the most delicate questions. Below are some of the highlights of what Eulogies Made Easy has to offer according to their website.

-How to write a eulogy for someone you were never close with - and how to make the very best of this situation (and still come off as 100% respectful and genuine).

-How to 'burn' your eulogy speech into your brain to have razor-sharp mega-memorization - so virtually no cheat sheets are needed.

-12 coveted tricks on how to avoid crying and breaking down during the speech - but also when and where it's accepted and completely healthy.

-You'll also receive 300 Funeral Poems.

Well, my brother will certainly have his work cut out for him, between the cue cards for crying, the poetry reading, and especially making the speech come off as "100% respectful and genuine."  Hopefully, all of this will be accomplished after many more years of getting to know me better. In the meantime, I've already started contemplating my headstone, which could also double as a festive funeral poem, "She ate, she slept, and after all was through, she made a number two."


  1. Unusual subject but great to read.


  2. Really quirky and interesting theme chosen.
    We don't do eulogies, besides we get cremated and ashes scattered into water bodies, so no head stones. But the rest read close relatives have a ten day religious ceremony cum feasting and brand new clothes gifted by the surviving heirs/elders.
    Mine would be coined by my elder bro...she was a misfit, moody and unpredictable with a heart of gold (added, one can hope right?).

  3. Funny they have books on how to do it. I was at a funeral a few years ago where the person who gave it obviously didn't know the person at all. It was horrible.

  4. i always feel urgency to get published before i die so when i'm eulogized, they will say i was an author! proof is in the pubbing...

  5. I am fascinated by death and all its trappings....

  6. Interesting. Guess I'll let someone else write mine. Don't know that I can face doing it myself at this point. It's a good idea tho. I think in my head I still feel like I'm going to live forever even tho that is not reality.

  7. As an exercise I had my 23 year old to write her eulogy. Of course she didn't have much to write. That was the point. I wanted her to live her life to the fullest. Great post.

  8. Well my dear, that was interesting! I never even thought of that for an e word...gosh, don't know what I'd write for my own! Now you got me thinking....

  9. Interesting post. Something to ponder on. Visiting you via the A to Z challenge from up on Haliburton Hill.

  10. Thanks Yvonne!

    Rekha - The ten day religious ceremony sounds like a wonderful tribute to the deceased. I could definitely relate to your idea for your brother's speech, but in my case "the heart of gold" would be omitted! Thanks Rekha!

    Tonja - That is horrible though it probably happens more often than we think!

    Tara - It will happen and I like "proof is in the pubbing!"

    Delores - Just as long as you appreciate it from afar for many years to come!

    Mary - I know it hasn't been easy, but you need to stay strong for a long, long time, and your positive attitude is key!

    Debra - That was such a great idea! I'm sure it helped show her what really matters! Thanks so much for following me, and I could use some more tips for my kids!

    Tracy - Don't think too much about it. Just get out there and enjoy your life!

    Joanna - Thanks for visiting me, and I'll drop in on you! Julie

  11. I want my wake/funeral to be like the one picture above.
    Except I want mine to be tacky.

  12. Okay, you're scaring me now! Especially about your brother!!

    I've never once thought about writing my own eulogy. But I suppose if I have to have one, a funny one would be best. You'd be the best writer for that; you're always so funny!

  13. You know I think I may have to see if you will license that little poem at the end to be read at my funeral :)

  14. Al - Then do I have to cancel the Mariachi Band?

    Nancy - He's much scarier in person! Actually he's quite Entertaining! Thanks Nancy, and you have a great sense of humor too!

    Majk - I'm sure we could work something out! Thanks Majk! Julie

  15. I started laughing as soon as I saw your title and couldn't stop through the whole thing. It's so funny they have a book about this. I love the tip for how to write a eulogy for someone you weren't even close with. That reminds me of a funeral attended some years ago where everyone in attendance knew the deceased was a total jackass. But the eulogy painted him as the salt of the earth, saint among us, etc. It was all I could do to keep from rolling my eyes, and I know I wasn't the only one.

    Now I want to look for a copy of this book. I have a morbid sense of humor and this is right up my alley. :D

  16. OMG, you can surely put people in stitches....even from underground, lol. That is some photo you have there to accompany an even more humorous post. It looks like you and the person in that Vegas coffin sure know how to go out in style!

    The idea of people writing their own eulogies in advance kinda creeps me out. I think they are best when it's delivered from someone who is living on, as an extension of the person whom he or she is honoring.

    If we live how we want to be known beyond death, then we will be remembered by that which we embodied during life. Just my two cents :)


    Blog: The Madlab Post
    @MadlabPost on Twitter

  17. Julie - It must have been really uncomfortable at that man's funeral. It's nice that we both have a morbid sense of humor! Thanks Julie!

    Nicole - I couldn't agree with you more! I just think the concept is funny, but I would never really go through with it! Thanks Nicole!

  18. ROFL, I want people to through a party. The one thing I don't want is a bunch of crying.

  19. Wow, would have never thought that a book was written about writing eulogies.

  20. This was hilarious and creepy at the same time. Great E post!

    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  21. Hm, you've got me thinking now. Maybe I should prepare a few notes from my husband and friends. I plan on cremation and figured after they roast me, they'd just roast me.

    1. Great idea except I can't help thinking about an old Alfred Hitchcock episode about a man who is in a horrible car accident. He is completely paralyzed and cannot speak, so he is taken to the morgue. All the while you hear the thoughts running through his head, as he's trying desperately to tell them he's alive. And you know what saves him? Someone finally notices a single tear in his eye. This is why I think a verbal roast is better! Thanks Corinne!

  22. Ciara - How about just a little crying, and a party after? I'll sign up for that package! Thanks Ciara!

    Susanne - It's amazing what we're able to find on the Internet! I was surprised too!

    Damyanti - Sadly that describes many aspects of my life! Thanks Damyanti!

  23. What a thing to do! Really, Julie, trying to think of your own eulogy, whatever next! Besides you'd be depriving your brother of saying his own lovely things about you.

  24. When my mother died sixteen years ago, (I can hardly believe it's been that long!) I delivered the eulogy. I couldn't stand the idea of a minister who'd never even met her giving it, so I did it myself. Believe it or not, it was a enormously uplifting experience. I've thought of making preparations for my own funeral, too. Like making a recording of a "Don't you dare cry over me!" talk, and then leading everyone in some feel-good songs. I still may. I'd rather leave 'em laughing than have them crying about me.

  25. Rosalind - It was rather selfish of me to even pretend about taking his big moment away!

    Susan - I admire you so much for making this final gesture for your mother. I'm sorry that you lost her so long ago. I think you wrote about the experience. Great ideas and I'd love to hear you sing LIVE! Julie

  26. I'll have to check out those books. I was going to write about eulogies on E day, but people voted and chose euthanization instead. I fear public speaking, so I don't know if I could ever deliver a eulogy, especially for someone I'm close to. I'd probably cry the whole way through.

  27. I actually did write my step-father's eulogy, and I will never write one again. It was so incredibly hard to sum up a person's life, especially when your family is in the throes of grief. I think I did a good job, but always regret that there are things I left out and wish I'd said. He meant so much to us and I wanted his eulogy to be perfect. But, of course, it couldn't possibly be.