A few days back my phone rang-it was a client needing my services. This wasn’t a surprise as I receive phone calls quite frequently inquiring about my freelance writing provisions. What made this phone call different was the type of article needed…a eulogy. Although I’ve advertised these services as part of my writing portfolio, I never thought of the impact it would have on me emotionally.
I spoke with the gentleman briefly by phone as I explained my fees and how I could help him. I understood the dynamics of what he was going through. His father had passed away due to a battle with cancer. The gentleman was grieving, and if you’ve ever stood in similar shoes you also realize that the death of a loved one(especially a parent) can be emotionally traumatic. If you are the one giving the eulogy the day of the funeral, writing how you feel may not be an easy task. Not only are you busy preparing funeral arrangements, but trying to prepare those final words to say in front of the deceased family and loved ones can be overwhelming.
I have experienced loss, but I wasn’t prepared for this assignment as both of my parents are still living. But albeit, my folks are both 87 years old, and I am well aware that their time here on earth is limited.
I spoke with the gentleman one more time as he poured his heart out. His father was not only his best friend, but he was his hero. How do you write a eulogy about another person you never met? Where would I begin? I asked God to guide me and I sat down and meditated in a quite room. It was in those quiet moments that my thoughts came together. I didn’t want to think of my own parents moving on from this life, but I knew the only way I could accomplish writing an effective heartwarming eulogy was to force myself to feel all the emotions I might feel if it were them.
What if it were my father who has passed away? How would I feel? I squirmed as the pain inched its way through every vein in my body. Then I moved on to my sweet mom, now both of my parents were gone and the pain was unbearable. Even though my reality was that my parents were not dead, it hit close to my heart. If I could feel half the pain this client was feeling, I could now write his eulogy, and so I did.
I began typing and the words flowed like tears on a grieving son’s face. The client called with a warm felt thank you for writing such a beautiful eulogy. We spend over 30 minutes on the phone as I tried giving him encouraging words. I told him to get some rest as I wiped away my own tears falling silently down my cheeks.
I’ve been freelance writing for years, and nothing prepared me for this. Would I do it again? The answer to that question is…YES! While it was an emotional assignment, it was also rewarding. Clearly, writing eulogies isn’t for everyone but someone has to do it, especially if the grieving family member is unable to perform the task at hand. Who knows, maybe I will need to hire someone to perform this same task once my folks pass away.
~and that’s all she wrote!
Until next time….