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Anyone ever have to deliver their father's eulogy?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by patchs, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. patchs

    patchs Active Member

    My dad passed away Friday. He was 64, it was a heart attack and from what the doctor told me, it was pretty fast and he didn't suffer.
    This was very unexpected and has hit my mom, my brother, my wife and my 2 little daughters (6 and 7) hard.
    The presence of our extended family and my mom's friends has helped but when I'm alone, I am hurting.
    Being the writer of the family, I'm the logical choice to do the eulogy on Wednesday.
    I have so many emotions in my head, my dad was a good guy, he really was a well-liked person, gregarious, funny and honest.
    I have to be strong to be able to do this. Writing is tough enough, the delivery, with everyone watching, the emotions, I know I'm going to break down -- a lot.
    So I ask, has anyone here delivered their dad's eulogy?
    How did you get through it?
  2. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Patchs, my friend, my sincere condolences.

    I have not done a eulogy although I did readings at both my father's and mother's funeral masses. My older brother did the eulogy both times and was magnificent... I don't know how he did it.
  3. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I haven't delivered my father's eulogy (thank God, he's still alive), but I delivered my aunt's in 1999.

    She and I had a very complex, but positive relationship. In the very early going, she was like a third parent. From what I've been told, she took a month off work to help my mother take care of me after I was born (she was my father's older sister). She was always a part of my life when I was a kid.

    When I got older, our relationship began to change as I matured. In the later years, she was more like the sister I never had as we started relating to each other as adults. She and I had a very close bond, so when she died from complications related to diabetes, I took it extremely hard. And I was the one member of her family who did not see her the last day she was alive. My dad's partner tells me I should have been there, but we think she wouldn't have wanted me to see her in the state she was in that night.

    I remember realizing that I was going to have the hardest words I'd ever delivered in public, but I also felt a need to give the eulogy. For me, it was closure. I don't know how I was able to get through all the words without breaking down. Mark (my dad's partner) and my grandmother both cried when they heard me euologize my aunt.

    I just tried to think about all the good times I had with my aunt and all the warm memories I carry with me to this day.

    Just know this: Time will eventually let you do some healing, but don't be upset if you don't ever *totally* get over it. It's been almost nine years since my aunt died and I still think of her often.
  4. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Patchs, I'm sorry for your loss. As for the eulogy, you have more guts than I ever will.
  5. patchs

    patchs Active Member

    Thanks, it's appreciated. I have my family, friends, my journalism friends and even though I don't post a lot, I consider the SportsJournalists.commers I've met at APSE functions and the Toronto outting, very good people.
    Spnited, you're a good guy.
  6. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Sorry for your loss.

    My mom wrote his death notice for their local paper and I cut it in half after she found out they charged by the line. I wrote the obit for the little paper in their old hometown and phoned it in (of course they confirmed with the funeral home) -- he had worked there, so he warranted a full obit. I wrote the thing for the church bulletin, which was the longest of the three. The minister did all the talking at the service -- not sure if that's just how they do it or my mom's choice. Not sure how I'd have handled it; my voice broke a few times when I dictated the obit.
  7. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I'm extremely remiss. I'm also very sorry for your loss. Just have faith that he's in a better place.
  8. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Very very sorry for your loss.

    I gave my father's eulogy. I cried so much during the writing that I was tapped out by the funeral--it was great therapy. My advice would be to use warmth and humor, let people have a good laugh, celebrate his life instead of mourning his death. Ask your girls for stories you can include. If you cry, so what....take a moment, deep breath, continue.

    I don't think there can be a greater privilege, and you are going to make him very proud. Good luck.
  9. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    patchs: My sincere condolences.

    I delivered my mom's eulogy and all I can offer is to speak from your heart... your dad, and all those who are there, will appreciate that more than anything.

    I'm very sorry for your loss.
  10. patchs

    patchs Active Member

    Thanks for your condolences and your advice.
    My dad was a funny guy and I'm going to make that the bulk of my remarks.
    I'm hoping the laughter will help me make it through.
    21, special thanks to you.
  11. healingman

    healingman Guest

    Patchs, my father died in February 2004. He was in his 70s and it was after we had spent the last seven years of his life reconnecting, clearing away a lot of "family shit" and loving each other deeply. When my father died, I had to make all the funeral arrangements (everything from picking out the casket to his clothes). I spent the night at his assisted living apartment on the day he died. I remember watching "Blazing Saddles," "Smokey And The Bandit" and the Clint Eastwood-Rene Russo movie about Eastwood as an FBI guy (I believe). Anyway, I sat in his chair and wrote up the funeral notice for the newspapers as well as the eulogy. Mind you, I did it piecemeal ... it wasn't easy.

    I can say "Thank God" that those movies were on and gave me some solace. I did laugh ... and, because the movies were on Turner Classic, they were not edited. That's right ... I got the beans scene and all the "Sum Bitches" I could hear.

    Writing the eulogy ... it was important for me to mention my father's high points in his vocation as an attorney, where he helped people settle civil law cases and finished helping Veterans receive their Social Security benefits after our government would deny them over and over again. I feel in my heart that I covered all the bases, noting that my dad wasn't perfect (he'd be the first one to tell me that ... and did).

    As I write this, I feel my emotions come up about that time in 2004. I'm still working to get his headstone for his gravesite here in Austin. It's just taken a long time ... plus his ex-wife and I were in a three-plus-year court battle over his estate. That wasn't fun.

    Anyway ... Patchs, I hope I helped you out by sharing my experience, strength and hope. I pray you, your family and your friends will find strength through this grieving process. May God and the Angels above watch out over you.
  12. LiveStrong

    LiveStrong Active Member

    Patchs, really sorry to hear about your dad. I thought this was worth posting here. It's Kevin Smith's eulogy for his father, which was in his online diary:

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