When Do You Write a Eulogy?
"When is it appropriate to write a eulogy? My father is slowly dying right now and there are some moments when I feel that I might want to write his eulogy. Still, it feels rather disrespectful to write it while he’s alive—almost like I’m rushing death or wishing for it. Should I wait until after he passes to begin the process, or is it okay to write it now while I have the time, and it’s on my mind? I wouldn’t want anyone to find out and think that I’m wishing for him to pass soon." - READER
I believe you should write when the feeling strikes. As someone who writes quite a bit, I find that writing when I have ideas is the most productive and provides the best outcome.
The hardest thing about writing a eulogy before someone passes is dealing with your own emotions. Let’s face it—all of us will pass at some time. Writing a eulogy before someone dies does not rush death, nor does it mean you’re wishing for it. Even if you are a very superstitious person, you should know that there is nothing wrong with writing down your thoughts for the eulogy when they come to you.
Spending a lot of time with a parent near the end of life provides an opportunity to reflect and write because you will probably be reviewing their life and memories in your mind. Jot down your thoughts, and it will take some of the pressure off in those mind-numbing days after a death.
There are even plenty of individuals who actually plan their own funerals and write their own eulogies. These are folks who want their one last event on earth to go a certain way. There is nothing wrong with this approach, either. I say “to each his own,” because even though I don’t plan to do this, I understand it.
You sound like a very thoughtful person and I’m certain you’ll make the right choice about this final phase of your father’s journey of life.
Family Caregiving Advice Column
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