Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Speaking at a Memorial

Based on the title of this post, you might be expecting some advice. I actually am primarily writing soliciting it.

Some of you may know that I recently spoke at a memorial service sponsored by my hospital for all of the patients who have died in the hospital's comfort care service. I had a lot of angst about speaking at that event. Representing all of my nurse colleagues seemed a daunting task. But the experience was incredibly meaningful.

Now I am thinking ahead to my great-aunt's memorial service this coming Sunday. What should I say? My grief seems to have paralyzed my brain. I had so much to say to the strangers (and a few family members whom I knew) at the hospital's memorial event. But now faced with my own personal loss, the words escape me.

I have sought out on-line suggestions via google.

The Memorial Service Location website has a nice compilation of poems and quotes that can be read at memorials, though the majority of them are somewhat religious. My great-aunt left her Catholic faith a long time before her death. And in our talks in the days prior to her death, she did not show any indication in a renewed interest in religion or even discussions of an after-life. So I am not sure any of these are appropriate for her in particular (though I would recommend that site to others who may be looking for things to read).

The eulogy tip sites all seem very focused on a plan for writing. I generally write more free-flow than that and so those suggestions haven't been very helpful either.

I think part of my resistance comes from not feeling emotionally ready to deal with her death yet.

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