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Could use advice for my mom’s eulogy...


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Hi everyone,

My father has asked that I speak at my mom’s funeral. I want to do it, but I don’t if that makes any sense at all. I know 100% I will break down. My mom was my best friend and life is so empty without her. I honestly don’t even know where to start or what to say. How can I possibly deliver a eulogy that will come close to honoring what a truly wonderful woman my mom was? I also feel maybe giving the eulogy is making the fact that she’s gone even more real for me. Any advice?

Also wanting to know how you folks are coping or have coped with your loss. Every few days, at night especially, I feel really overwhelmed like I am going to have a panic attack or just lose it. My grief is coupled with having just moved (so my dad wouldn’t be living alone), I also just got married, lost my beloved fur sister, and had a baby). I’ve been talking with a counselor and he assured me that it’s normal, but is it really? What have you guys done to help in these situations? Thanks so much for reading. Love to you all. 

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Dear KNP,

I'm very sorry for your loss. I know its a very sad and difficult time. Please do what is right for you. I know at my own dad's service we had a family friend deliver our remarks. I just couldn't get up and say anything that day. It was just too hard. Or maybe have a trusted family member or friend stand with you during the eulogy to give that additional support.

Your counselor is right and everything you are feeling and thinking is normal and natural. It's so raw and surreal. I think we all just try to take it moment by moment. I know others have suggested writing in a journal, joining a support group, reading, taking art classes. We have to find some way to express our grief and not hold it in. Its all very hard. The first year there are lots of ups and downs coming to terms with our devastating loss.

Thinking of you. Sending all my thoughts and prayers.

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I am so sorry for you, your father, mother and entire family.  Without a doubt my grief journey has been the hardest thing I have ever been through.  I hope you find comfort on these forums, finding people that share your experiences and empathize.

My stepdaughter delivered part of the eulogy for my wife.  Her sisters and mother delivered parts as well.  They all had moments of breaking down, that is perfectly natural and understandable.  As reader said, do what is right for you, but believe me when I say no one will be judging you for being emotional at that time.

You obviously had a close and special relationship with your mother.  What I found to be the most touching and impactful from my wife’s eulogy were good moments she had shared with the speaker that not many others knew about.  Stories that had been shared between just a few people were now being shared with all those who loved her, perhaps that might give you a starting point.

What you are thinking and feeling is absolutely normal.  Grief touches everyone differently, but there are many common ways it presents itself. Feeling overwhelmed and panic attacks are some of the most common.  I am coming up on two years since my wife passed and recently posted the following list of things that helped me through my grief, it is long, I am working on trimming it down some, but there may be something in it that helps you.

1.  Take it one day, one moment, one breath at a time. - It is ok for me to look further down the road on occasion, particularly when I have strong moments or days.  When it starts causing me anxiety, panic or discomfort though it is important to consciously stop and grapple with my grief in smaller, more manageable pieces.

 2.  Practice self care, particularly in the small things. - My wife would want me to take care of myself, she would be here to do it for me if she could.  This applies to all aspects of my grief, but it was vital in the early days, and still necessary on occasions to look at the very basic elements.  Eat what I can, sleep when I can, exercise, and drink plenty of water.  Grief comes with physical ailments as well, unexplained pains, sleep deprivation, dehydration and more.  When I start feeling run down I still find it helpful to focus on the "little" things like that, and usually that puts me in better shape to deal with the big things, or at least I don't have to deal with them in addition to the basic problems.

3.  Help others when you can and accept help from others when you need it. - This forum is a great place for me to put this principle into practice.  It is hard for me at times to accept help.  Grief makes your mind do some strange things like thinking you aren't "worthy" of being helped.  Add to that my very independent nature and you have a formula for sitting alone in the dark crying with no one to turn to.  That is not good for anyone.  People who offer help often do so because they want and need to.  It is frequently part of their grieving and healing process.  Not accepting that help may actually be harmful to them.  If I don't know how they can help, I try to think of one small, but concrete thing they can do.  Picking up something from the store, helping me clean up a room, etc.  They are small things, but ones that have solid visible results.  It is also important here to emphasize the "when you can" of helping others.  I really do enjoy helping people, but I also need to recognize I have large burdens of my own and I don't need to put the weight of the world on my shoulders.

4.  Establish and stick to routines. - This puts order into my very chaotic life.  The first few months feeding and medicating my cats was one of the few things that kept me sane.  It got me out of bed every day at the same time which may be one of the reasons I rapidly moved through my problems with sleeping.  I have carried the utility of routines over to other aspects of my life.  Going to the grocery store every Thursday and Sunday keeps me from hermit-ting up in my room.  Getting a cup of coffee and finding at least one person to say good morning to when I arrive at work does much the same.  My favorite is waking up and as I get ready to take my shower saying "I love you Christine, and I know you love me".  It starts the day off positively (most of the time), and reminds me that though she is gone I can keep parts of her in my life.  We said it to one another almost every day we were together, I think that should continue.

5.  Allow time to grieve. - Sticking my head in the sand and ignoring my grief only lead me to massive problems.  There were times when I would just "muscle" through the emotions, but when I did it for too long it would inevitably lead to a melt down and a set back in my grieving process.  At first I made this a routine, one time a day where I would consciously think about my emotional state, my loss, and how I was coping with it.  Over time it has changed into doing it only when I need to.  After a little practice with it I found I could tell when I needed to simply sit down and think about things.

6.  Before making big changes make sure you have had time to properly think them through. - I know this seems to go against one day, one moment, one breath at a time, but it is important.  It evolved from someone telling me to avoid making any big changes in the first year.  That was great advice, as in that first year I would have made some horrible decisions.  In the end I took those strong days and moments where I could look beyond the "now" to plan out any big changes.  It has resulted in a new career path and purchasing a new home for me, both of which are wonderful.  If I had just jumped at the move in those early days though, I know I would have rushed it and probably ended up renting a terrible apartment in a much less desirable area.  I need to slow down and make sure what I am doing is good for me, not simply a reaction to my grief.

7.  Consciously make myself try new things. - This is the reverse of establish and stick to routines.  While routines bring order to the chaos, trying new things keeps me from becoming a robot simply chugging through the day to get to the end.  I started small, changing my routes to and from work.  I now have altered my yearly vacation to the beach, the house we normally got is simply too big without Christine.  Instead I am getting my passport and using the money to see some other parts of the world.  These new things give me hope that Christine is either sharing them vicariously through me, or that I will one day be able to tell her about them.

8.  When you aren't sure what to do, do what feels right for you. - My self confidence took a massive blow when I lost her.  I stopped trusting my instincts and started second guessing myself.  What I found over time was that my instincts were still good.  If I don't want to go out to dinner with friends, it probably means that I am not ready for that.  I learned to listen to myself again, and I think it kept me from pushing too hard and focusing on the wrong things.  Further this journey is hard enough, on occasion I should indulge myself even if it seems selfish to others.

9.  Separate guilt from regrets. -  Guilt is my least favorite part of this whole horrible process.  Guilt is close to useless and clouded my thoughts from all other aspects of my grief journey.  I have gotten better with identifying guilt and separating it from regrets.  Regrets are natural, nothing is ever perfect, and we all wish we could do or had done better at times.  Guilt is beating myself up over those regrets even though I can't affect or change them.

10. Be OK with not being OK. - Stolen directly from another recent thread here, but this is vital.  I am going through the most difficult experience I have ever endured.  If I don't get it perfect the first, fifth, or five thousandth time, that is understandable.  I will take my time, regroup and try again.  Anyone who doesn't understand it doesn't matter, and anyone who matters will understand.


Wishing you peace and comfort,


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Not sure if you've had the funeral yet, but I had the same problem at my mum's funeral. Sadly, we weren't really asked about what we wanted but were told we could write a 30 second piece about what our mum meant to us. I wasn't up to speaking but my elder brother wanted to recite his poem and he didn't want anyone else to do it. I suggested to him that he tape himself doing it beforehand so that, in the event of him not feeling he could do it, all he would have to do would be to press play on his phone. He did do that but on the day he managed to stand up and recite his poem.

My younger brother and I also wrote poems which tried to express succinctly how we felt about mum. I asked my son if he could read them on the day for us - and he did so beautifully.

My younger brother also reassured me that although this was mummy's 'big' day - we would be able to have our own family celebration of her life in the future so if there was something we'd missed out, we'd be able to include it later. That helped me a lot when I felt the pressure to say everything there and then.

Also, I bought this beautiful notebook which we had at the wake which friends wrote their thoughts and messages about mum in. That was something beautiful to look back on and is kept now in her Peter Rabbit memory box under her chair.

I hope your mum's funeral is all you would want it to be. Dad wrote mum's eulogy and I felt it was something that could have been done better when she was still alive - there was so much he missed out, but on the day all that mattered to me was that mummy had gone.

Strangely the biggest comfort to me on the day was the beautiful wreath the florist had made up for mummy.

But that's enough about me and my grief. Good luck.


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Please accept my sincere condolences on your loss KNP, and I'm glad you found your way to this forum.  My mom was also my very best friend my whole life, and when she passed last year, I too was asked to write the eulogy.  I also struggled with conveying on paper what a beautiful, awesome person my mom was.  I agreed to write the eulogy, but told my dad up front that I would be in no shape to deliver it during her service.  What we ended up doing was using a very nice local chaplain who had spoken beautifully at my grandmother's service just six weeks earlier.  Needless to say, he was saddened to be pressed into service for my family again so soon, but was very kind and didn't put any restrictions on the eulogy.

This grief is still a very real and raw thing for my dad and I, even a year later.  He and I have pretty much accepted the fact that we'll mourn Mom's loss deeply, possibly for the rest of our lives...she truly was the best of us.  A couple things have actually helped my dad and I during our grief.  For example, though we've always been close, we've started to work more like a team together.  Without Mom, Dad and I have had to rely on one another and work together in ways we hadn't had to previously, but I find that it is helping.  Though this might sound silly, we've also started spending a lot more time in the kitchen together, cooking at home.  It's an activity we enjoy doing together, and it's a nice way for he and I to reconnect at the end of each day, no matter where that day has taken us.  We've also tried to spend more time with the rest of our family.  Grief counseling has helped me some, and because I've really struggled with anxiety since my mom passed, my doctor has intermittently prescribed short term medications.  I should note however, that medications really should be at the direction and supervision of your physician.

I won't lie and say that everything is magically "okay" now...it isn't and may never be.  I fully agree with other posters who say that grief is very much a day by day, breathe by breathe process.  If you have a support system, rely on them, and try not to feel guilty about doing so.  The people who truly love you, want only to help, and many simply need to know how, if that makes sense.  I hope this has helped.


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