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Funeral readings

13 replies

dalmatianmad · 04/09/2020 21:49

I'm not looking for any sympathy.

My lovely Mum died earlier this week. I want to do a reading at her funeral. Not sure I'll be able to in case I break down or come across "wrong".
Has anyone done one? Any advice? Should I leave it to the person leading the service? It's not a religious ceremony, we are just going straight to the Crematorium.

Many thanks.

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WitchDancer · 04/09/2020 21:53

If you do a reading then have someone else on standby to take over if you do break down. No one will even blink if that does happen, in fact every single person there will be feeling empathy.

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AmelieTaylor · 04/09/2020 21:54

Whether you're looking for it or not...I AM very sorry to hear about your lovely mum 🌷

When my Dad died, I wanted to speak, but was worried I wouldn't be able to, so I wrote it down & arranged for my best friend or the celebrant (also a friend) to read it for me if I fell apart. In the end, in front of 400 people, I managed to do it.

You'll probably be surprised at how you cope with it, but have a back up, just in case x

Much love, it's a terrible thing to go through. Even more so right now xx

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AngeloMysterioso · 04/09/2020 21:55

This is the poem I read at my father’s funeral when he died of cancer.

My advice would be to practice reading it aloud, over and over and over again, until the act of reading it becomes almost mundane.

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ohflourofscotland · 04/09/2020 21:55

So sorry for your loss. I was asked to do a reading for my Aunty and read the attached. It's a very hard thing to do. When my Dad died my brother and I couldn't do it and the celebrant did. It's a tough choice

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dalmatianmad · 04/09/2020 22:09

Thanks Amelie, it's only 30 people due to covid. I was wondering about reading the whole "Mum was born on, married my Dad...
Shall I leave that to the Celebrant?

Thank you angelo and ohflour, I have screen shot these.

It's a week tomorrow since she passed away. I feel so lost for the 1st time since she died. My poor Dad has struggled today too.
My mum Mum was diagnosed with liver cancer 3 weeks ago. I just feel like we haven't had time to process the diagnosis never mind her death. I feel like I am falling apart. I've arranged all the funeral and the wake. It's just a waiting game now.

My Mum has never told me she is proud of me, despite having 2 beautiful children and having a successful career on the frontline in the NHS. I've worked week in week out throughout Covid and lost a couple of colleagues on the way. I just wanted her to tell me she was proud of me. I had her fast tracked home and cared for her for 6 days before she died. I feel so sad. I want to do her proud by doing a reading at her funeral.

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SpringFan · 04/09/2020 22:09

I loved Auden's Funeral Blues- but "two weddings and a Funeral" seems to have spoilt it for me
I also like"Gone from My Sight"by Henry Van Dyke, although some people claim it is by William Blake

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SpringFan · 04/09/2020 22:15

Gone From My Sight

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.



Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."



Gone where?



Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.


And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"



And that is dying...

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mostlydrinkstea · 04/09/2020 22:16

I'm a vicar so I've helped a lot of families arrange funerals. If you want to read something then go for it. Poetry can express what we want to say but don't have the words for. When you find something practice speaking it. In terms of delivery go slow. Remember to breathe. On the day have it typed out and have someone else ready to take over if emotion kicks in. If you are having a celebrant talk to them so they know that you might need them to read. Plan to do the reading early on in whatever is happening at the crem so you have time to grieve and say goodbye afterwards.

Sometimes funerals tap into my losses and I find receiving times tables helps pull me out of the emotional space. At your mum's funeral you are allowed to cry. Tricky to do with a mask. Maybe take a spare.

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mostlydrinkstea · 04/09/2020 22:28

The Eulogy 'Edith was born on....married Tom' etc can be read by family or celebrant. What can work well is for family to write bits about their favourite memories which give a flavour of the real person rather than a CV. If I'm reading I always say that these are the families words. There can be an honesty about those memories which is healing. My grandmother's eulogy had the line 'she was a woman who knew her own mind' which said something about a complex character without going into the gory detail.

You have been through a really difficult time. Be gentle with yourself.

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AmelieTaylor · 04/09/2020 23:44

Bloody hell, she was only diagnosed three weeks ago, what a heel of a few weeks you've had!

I'm sorry she never told you that she was proud of you. But she must have been. - maybe after the funeral you can talk to your Dad about what your mums thoughts/feelings were. I found out that my Dad was worrying about something in my life, which in some ways I wish I hadn't, but some other stuff too.

If you were my daughter, I'd be incredibly proud of you 🌷

Leave the 'routine' stuff to the celebrant and either talk about your mum (if you want to) or read something nice. I talked about my Dad, some memories, some funny stories & how much I loved & missed him.

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dalmatianmad · 05/09/2020 07:34

Thanks Amelie, I'm going to get pen to paper today and make a start.
Mum had been poorly for a few weeks, all the red flags were there but she was reluctant to have any tests.
I gave my Dad an ultimatum that he either bring Mum in whilst I was on shift so I could get one of my Dr's to see her and send her for an MRI or I was sending an Ambulance. He brought her in and it went on from there.

It all happened so quickly.

Anyway, quick dog walk, turn the horses out and I'm on it. Many thanks to you all of your supportive words.

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Allthewhite · 05/09/2020 09:44

Dalmatian I am so sorry for your loss. Sadly I know how you may be feeling as I lost my mum in very similar circumstances at the height of Covid. I had 6 weeks from diagnosis to her passing with 10 days of caring for her at home. We had a restriction on the numbers allowed to the church so it was limited to family and very close friends. I read out a prepared speech, kept it short and I struggled despite going into full on automation mode in sorting out all the funeral preparations. My advice is to be super kind to yourself and have no expectations of how you will feel. A poem may be slightly easier and someone can take over if you can’t get through it. There is a site “love lives on” where you can sift through a number of specific readings for mums. Regardless of what you say, it will be the right thing. 6 weeks on I’m totally bereft, I don’t think it hit me that she’s gone until this week as it’s a huge amount to process with a short illness.

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EnjoyingTheSilence · 05/09/2020 10:03

I read a poem, changed the last bit though as it wasn’t appropriate for me

So sorry for your loss

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