I was sitting in the synagogue waiting for the Rabbi to speak. My cousin passed away a few days earlier and today was her funeral. I looked around, so many people came to pay their respects. What was so amazing and touching was that most, including myself, came from across the country to be there. How wonderful it was to see how many lives she had touched and that all these people wanted to, no, needed to come and say their goodbyes. That is exactly why I want to have my eulogy before I die.
I have always struggled wondering if there is an afterlife and if I would be able to follow the lives of those still living. Did my cousin know how much she was loved and the difference she made in so many lives? I do not know that answer. I hope she knew how much she meant to me, but did I truly convey that or did I just assume she knew? How sad if my cousin did not know how cherished she was to so many.
Funerals, wakes, shiva, or any other ritual people follow when someone dies are for the living. These traditions begin the process of healing and learning how to get on with their own lives without their loved one present. It also allows others to give support, reminisce, share the accomplishments, and celebrate the life of the deceased. Funerals play an important role for the survivors, however, it is the eulogy that is probably most important to the deceased and they never get to hear it. Wouldn’t it be nice to say all those things when they are still alive? We all get caught up in our lives so when an unexpected death happens don’t you wish you could turn the clock back for the opportunity to do just that before they passed? I know I do.
Having an “eulogy party” may be the answer. This gives people the opportunity to tell that person what they would say at the funeral. How often you want to hear your living eulogy is up to you–I think I would like to have mine every 10 years. I am not sure how many will attend, but I hope my life meant something to as many people as my cousin’s life did because then I will know how loved I truly am. Hopefully you will start your own eulogy party, just remember, if no one shows up that should be your wake up call.
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