Wecome to Christine Falk - Pen in Hand

Here you will find up to date news and information about my writing including excerpts from my novel, poetry, articles and reveiws.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

How to Say Goodbye

A recent conversation regarding the writing of a eulogy has inspired me to share this post.
I write every day. Most often enjoyably. But for those who don’t write regularly the task can seem quite daunting, even it the topic gives them joy.
Post mortem writing requests such as eulogies, memorials, and death announcement are difficult. They come at a time of personal grief and feelings of loss in which it may be difficult to organize thoughts. It can be a task to find balance. Sometimes the result may seem too factual and not personal and sometimes the writing becomes wholly personal and more about the writer than the deceased. In some cases it is easily forgotten why we have been asked to speak as we get caught up in emotions of loss.

Here are just a few tips to guide anyone requested to write a eulogy or to speak at a end of life event;
  • Write down a list of your memories and experiences that accentuate the persons personality or accomplishments. It isn’t necessary to use all of them, once you list them you will be able to choose the ones you feel are best for the occasion and that the audience can relate to.
  • Choose only one or two experiences from your list then write why you chose them and what they mean to you in your remembrance of the deceased. This will be the body of your deliverance. Aim to keep it relevantly short as you likely may not be the only speaker at the podium.
  • Write a one or two sentence introduction stating your relationship to the person you are writing about or your history with them.
  • Write a closing statement which is entirely about the person you are memorializing.
  • Put everything together then read it through to be sure that your piece is clear and concise with good flow of sentences. Have a close friend listen to you read it and give constructive feedback. Edit your writing with planned breaks so that it becomes easy for you to read aloud.
On the day of the end of life event you may be especially grievous and nostalgic but as you are well prepared your speech to the audience will be more fluid and well constructed for sharing. This can be especially true for those not accustomed to public speaking, preparation of the content of your speech and a little rehearsal will ease your tension.

You may not see yourself as a good writer but as you have been requested to speak in someone’s memory it stands to reason that you were a good friend or loved one. In the end this is what matters most.



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