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Monday, 30 August 2010

The song is ended but the melody lingers on

So said Irving Berlin. I'm trying to write a funeral eulogy for mum without using the phrase: 'She touched all our lives' or 'She will continue to live in all of us' (what - like herpes?) and I'm finding it very hard. How do you sum up someone's life? But what I really want to do is give an idea of her as an individual - not just 'wife of' or 'mother of'

Here's a picture of her looking serene while my sister and I (both going through a terrifying Axl Rose lookalike phase sit either side of her).

Meanwhile I've found a poem:

All Is Well

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It it the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.

By Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)


Anonymous said...

I really like that poem too. I've got it with a photo of my dad.
Your mum must have had a really great sense of humour judging by one of your previous posts about things she said (perhaps it where you got yours from too).
Could that be a starting point?
Best wishes.

Jane said...

Thanks Anon

Yes she did have a good sense of humour. So yes, it would be a good starting point. With funeral eulogies, I think I'll have to try to balance the grief felt about her death with actually celebrating her life.

I love that poem. It offers hope without being maudlin.

Gillian said...

I almost suggested that one but figured you would know it. It is spot on.

I think you could just tell them how you feel, a few of the things you remember even if they aren't funny...a memory is very touching to everyone. And people light up when they tell a story about a happy time.

I think we are all lucky to have our loved ones for the time we do.

The Dalai Lama writes a lot about such things. Maybe that helps. He's a hard act to follow but I figure if I can get my mind part the way he suggests I must be doing better than if I didn't try at all.

: )

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

That's the poem I mentioned. It really is perfect.

Good luck with the eulogy.

Fiona Purcell said...

Lovely poem.....

eulogy said...

I think I'll have to try to balance the grief felt about her death with actually celebrating her life. Thanks so much for this info.