Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
The lines, “She was such a good person. I can never think of anything bad about her and she doesn’t deserve to die this soon”, are the common lines heard on funerals. It is always a wonder why just about everyone who dies become suddenly nice people.
Every colleague, family and friends sing praises about the dead when they’re about to be buried. Enemies suddenly soften and say they should have asked for forgiveness though they didn’t think it was their fault during the lifetime of the deceased. This has become an unwritten law worldwide, regardless of nationalities or religion. Though there is a growing awareness of this seemingly wrong practice, no book has been written (not that I know of) yet contradicting the conventional way of doing eulogies.
Funeral Eulogy, as defined in the Wikipedia, is a speech or writing in praise of a person or a thing, especially one recently dead or retired. This doesn’t have to be done for the dead only. The living ones will get the most benefit for eulogies, if only this is practiced. What use will the praise serve if addressed to the dead? In the book ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’, the knowledge of Morrie’s impending death brings him to a state fit to be called an ‘enlightened man’.
He makes use of his remaining time studying and relating to people his near death perspective. He has become an open book and an open life to everyone willing to view how his life will unfold until the end. He discussed the idea of his friends and family giving eulogy to him while he’s still alive. The book depicted a happy tribute to a living soul. He was glad to listen to what his family and friends have to say about him. How nice it would have been had all the deceased heard how they were praised by people they didn’t even remember meeting with.
With today’s modern way of doing things, even eulogies did not pass unnoticed and untouched. The older times may have seen (or heard!) one too many eulogies done on the pulpit before the dead is cremated or laid on the ground but there is an alternative for this. If you’re painfully shy, you can try writing your eulogy instead.
Unlike its verbal counterpart, you can go as far as printing a picture of you with the deceased and paste it on the card. Be creative. There are many ideas and samples to choose from. Check the internet to look for possible ways that would perfectly fit your style and taste.