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Help me deliver the eulogy at my mum's funeral

(28 Posts)
Thehoardernextdoor Thu 01-Jun-17 00:15:58

My lovely mum died suddenly 2 weeks ago. The funeral is on Friday. I've written a tribute/eulogy which I really want to deliver myself but my emotions are so unpredictable. I had a couple of days feeling it would all be fine and I could do it. Today has been terrible, cried all day and there's no way I could have coped. Feeling better for a large G and T and I'm wondering if this would be a good idea before the funeral!

Wolfiefan Thu 01-Jun-17 00:18:48

I am so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine.
Would it help to have a back up plan of someone else reading your words or playing a recording? I can't help thinking a G and T isn't a bad idea. (If you're not driving and won't feel really awful a few hours later.)
flowers
And gin if you need that too.

frecklesmcspeckles Thu 01-Jun-17 00:21:17

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's unimaginable . I for some time after my mum died thought I play an instrument she loved and that I had done at many funerals. I eventually decided not to. I'm so glad I didn't
I was on the programme for an offertory procession with my kids which should have been simple and compared to others in the day very easy but at the time I just said no, I'm not doing it. My husband did it. My siblings did speeches, prayers etc, I did nothing, I couldn't do it. But I also held them as we followed the coffin down he aisle. I was their rock. I couldn't do the service but it was me who held them all as we left the church. It's what I was meant to do.

Thinking of you all xxxxx

frecklesmcspeckles Thu 01-Jun-17 00:23:46

I should also say, we wrote the eulogy as a family but my brother in law said it on put behalf. How he did it I don't know. But much as I wanted to do something in advance, on the day, it was right for him to do it and for me to nothing. Love to you all xx

ajandjjmum Thu 01-Jun-17 00:26:33

My DC both spoke at my Mum's funeral earlier this year. They went to the Church the day before to practise - in truth, just to try and visualise and see how they felt.

DS started and really cracked initially, but eventually was able to say his bits (written down rather than from memory) but DD was fine. It all depends on the character and on the day - I will say though that DS's tears touched many people (who all took him to one side later to say it was fine for men to cry!!)

The vicar had a copy of what they were going to say, incase either of them couldn't go through with it.

I hope the funeral goes well, and offers you some comfort.

frecklesmcspeckles Thu 01-Jun-17 00:26:46

It's such an awfully raw time there is no right answer. Pm me if you want some support. flowers

frecklesmcspeckles Thu 01-Jun-17 00:29:12

My dd did a prayer, as did my sisters, it was don't me that didn't. And I am the one that "does stuff" and steps forward. It honestly depends on you on the day. Xx

doubleshotespresso Thu 01-Jun-17 00:36:12

OP very sorry to read of your loss. Please remember if you do lose your composure at all during your eulogy, nobody will at all mind, it is the words and your obvious efforts that will matter most.

When I have to do things like this, I found it useful to do the following:

-Print off whatever you have prepared in larger type than normal, it helped me focus.
-Mark with a coloured marker points where you want to speak with emphasis or should pause (it stopped me racing away and forgetting to breathe)
-Agree with a pp, going to the church ahead will mentally prepare you. If you stand where you will be speaking and pick a point to look unto (mine was stained glass window at the rear of the church), you can perhaps at the end of very two or three lines look up which makes your delivery appear a bit more confident and clear.
-Maybe have a willing friend walk up with you for support or to jump in and take over if you need them too.
-Oh and I don't really drink, but had a brandy prior which most certainly did help.

I have no other useful words, it is an awful time, but I hope you are ok, best of luck.
flowers

Thehoardernextdoor Thu 01-Jun-17 00:50:06

We had a meeting yesterday with the person who is going to conduct the ceremony. It was horrible. It's obviously just a business to him and I'm buggered if he's going to represent my family's feelings.
My husband has tried to read it through and can't without sobbing, my best friend says she can't either. I cannot stress enough how much my mum was loved.
Thank you everyone for replying and so sorry for the losses in your lives

Thehoardernextdoor Thu 01-Jun-17 00:53:59

doubleshotespresso that's really helpful, thanks

Thehoardernextdoor Thu 01-Jun-17 01:05:45

Frecklemcspeckle, you didn't do nothing, you were the person they could collapse onto when it was over by the sound of it.

Kuriusoranj Thu 01-Jun-17 01:14:07

I did for both my parents, 15 years apart, but I'm used to speaking in front of large groups so I think that helped.

As others have said, nobody will expect you to get through it without a pause or some kind of lost composure. In the end, I'm glad I did ours - it felt like I was talking to them and it was an important part of the ceremonial, for me. There is an intimacy to it. I know what you mean about the people doing the service, but I'm sure they'll do right for you as much as they can.

So sorry for your loss, OP. Wishing you peace and strength.

LorLorr2 Thu 01-Jun-17 01:16:12

I know this sounds an impossible task, but could you practice reading it but 'detaching' from the words? It might make you sound more robotic but at least you might have a shot at getting through it then.
Like reading the sentences you see and only focusing on standing there. If you do start to well up tell yourself "I can cry when I'm done, I can cry when I'm done" I do this when a panic attack is emerging when I'm out, I tell myself "just go through the movements, I can panic as soon as I get in the car, just a few more seconds".

Pallisers Thu 01-Jun-17 01:16:18

So sorry for your loss.

I have done eulogies for my dad, mum and much-loved uncle.

I firmly believe that if you are going to cry uncontrollably (and understandably) during the eulogy then you shouldn't deliver it. It just makes the whole thing even more horrible for everyone there - and yourself.

I knew I could deliver without crying so I did it. Getting upset is ok, Being unable to speak is not.

Is there anyone at all who could say "the hoarder and her family have these words to say about their much-loved, lovely mum"? and then deliver the eulogy?

JoyceDivision Thu 01-Jun-17 01:22:50

Hi op,Iread my dad's eulogy last week.

Really sorry for your loss.

I managed it,and the main two things are: read, read andcrwad again tonthe point you are so familiar with yourctext thecwords almist become banal and the emotion behind them is extinguished to you.

Go ti the venue / church where you wil be doing the rwading and ask if you can nip in to practice. I did this, priest was really goid and let me in tocgurch to practice reafing from lecturn so i wasn't phased on the day.

I found i could only manage by not looking up,the lots of practice enabled me to have some intonation etccwhen reading but looking up wads a nono!

Good luck x

Pallisers Thu 01-Jun-17 01:24:38

Sorry didn't mean to sound like that being unable to speak is wrong - it is completely understandable. what I mean is if you really think you cannot speak without breaking down completely then have someone else deliver it. If you can do it with a few tears and gulps, go for it.

But either way just do it - your mum deserves the speech/eulogy.

Thehoardernextdoor Thu 01-Jun-17 09:39:40

Thanks again-some great advice here. My plan is to read it aloud as many times as possible today. Maybe a g and t beforehand. Don't look up whilst reading. And I'll ask a friend who lives some distance away so who didn't see mum all that often to stand with me to take over if I can't make it through. She's a teacher so probably more confident about speaking in public than some of my other friends.
I'll let you know how it goes.

Wolfiefan Thu 01-Jun-17 10:39:18

That sounds a great plan. I re read my comment. I meant to say don't have the G and T if the alcohol will make you feel physically unwell later. Of course you will feel emotionally really awful.
Sorry if it didn't make sense.
Thinking of you today. My FIL is dying. It's beyond shit. So sorry for your loss. flowers
And gin too. Why not?!

frecklesmcspeckles Thu 01-Jun-17 12:33:46

If possible can you deliver it early in the service? That way you only have to keep calm for a shorter time. I think sometimes the build up to speaking in such circumstances is worse the longer it goes on. So if you can do it early then it may be easier to hold it together. And yes to the g&t if it will help!!!

HelenaJustina Thu 01-Jun-17 12:42:51

A friend had to speak at the funeral of her sister-in-law who died suddenly in her late 20s. She said that she got through it by only concentrating on one word at a time, almost don't let the meaning behind the sentence engage with your brain.

Practise practise practise

And yes a stiff drink may help!

Another friend has written what she wanted to say at her son's funeral but stood at the lectern with her sister by her side also following the text. Her sister knew that if my friend stepped aside, she was to take over seamlessly. As it was she got through it with such dignity and grace.

So sorry for your loss, and all possible good wishes for the day itself.

Pallisers Thu 01-Jun-17 14:14:38

That sounds like a good plan OP. Good luck.

I agree with freckles to do it early in the service if you can. People usually say a few words after the mass is over in Ireland but I asked the priest each time if I could speak before mass started - made it a lot easier for me.

Pallisers Thu 01-Jun-17 14:14:54

oh and speak very slowly.

Thehoardernextdoor Sat 03-Jun-17 22:07:54

I did it. The funeral wasn't until late afternoon which was difficult but I spent the morning in the garden reading it over and over again out loud. I had a small g and t about an hour before and it helped me feel determined and kind of upbeat. There were so many people there, and a lot of them were very upset which strangely helped because I could be the person helping them. My two sons stood either side of me ready to take over if necessary and I kept my eyes focussed on the script which I'd printed off in large font.
At the end, everyone applauded. It was lovely.
I felt it was the last thing I could do for my mum and it has really helped. Thank you so much to everyone here for your advice and support. My heart goes out to you all for the losses you have suffered. Xxx

Wolfiefan Sat 03-Jun-17 22:20:44

I am so pleased you were able to do this. I hope all those people you helped are there for you if you need them too. Take care OP. Thinking of you. flowers

BikeRunSki Sat 03-Jun-17 22:25:42

I read at my dad's funeral (I was just 23), but couldn't finish. Fortunately I had notes, and my lovely uncle stepped in. It might be worth having an "understudy" on standby.

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