Good Words: Eulogies and Difficult Situations (Good Words: Memorializing Through a Eulogy, Workbooks)

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He conducted himself quietly and kindly and diligently.

He encouraged progress not by pushing his ideas alone but by seeking out your ideas, partnering with you to make things happen. What a good man. Preacher by 13, pastor by 18, public servant by What a life Clementa Pinckney lived. What an example he set. What a model for his faith. And then to lose him at 41, slain in his sanctuary with eight wonderful members of his flock, each at different stages in life but bound together by a common commitment to God — Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, DePayne Middleton Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel L.

Good people. Decent people. God-fearing people. To the families of the fallen, the nation shares in your grief. Our pain cuts that much deeper because it happened in a church. The church is and always has been the center of African American life They have been and continue to community centers, where we organize for jobs and justice, places of scholarship and network, places where children are loved and fed and kept out of harms way and told that they are beautiful and smart and taught that they matter.

When there was a righteous movement to dismantle Jim Crow, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A sacred place, this church, not just for blacks, not just for Christians but for every American who cares about the steady expansion It was an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress Oh, but God works in mysterious ways.

APPLAUSE Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer would not see the grace surrounding Reverend Pinckney and that Bible study group, the light of love that shown as they opened the church doors and invited a stranger to join in their prayer circle. The alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court in the midst of unspeakable grief, with words of forgiveness.

And more importantly, with a thoughtful introspection and self-examination that we so rarely see in public life. Grace is not merited. Rather, grace is the free and benevolent favor of God. We may not have earned this grace with our rancor and complacency and short-sightedness and fear of each other, but we got it all the same. He gave it to us anyway.

Good Words: Memorializing Through a Eulogy

But it is up to us now to make the most of it, to receive it with gratitude and to prove ourselves worthy of this gift. For too long, we were blind to the pain that the Confederate Flag stirred into many of our citizens.


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But as people from all walks of life, Republicans and Democrats, now acknowledge, including Governor Haley, whose recent eloquence on the subject is worthy of praise It would not an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. It would simply be acknowledgement that the cause for which they fought, the cause of slavery, was wrong. It would be an expression of the amazing changes that have transformed this state and this country for the better because of the work of so many people of goodwill, people of all races, striving to form a more perfect union. Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty APPLAUSE Sporadically, our eyes are open when eight of our brothers and sisters are cut down in a church basement, 12 in a movie theater, 26 in an elementary school.

The first step is simply to let your mind travel down a stream of consciousness.

Comedian Billy Crystal delivers funny and touching eulogy for Muhammad Ali

Curl up in a comfy chair, or slip into bed with a soft blanket. It can be helpful to keep your hands occupied, so wrap your hands around a cup of hot tea or engage in a quiet activity like knitting. The point of these actions is to allow your body to relax so your mind can wander freely in whatever direction it chooses. Before you know it, your mind will be firing off memories you had long forgotten about. Maybe it will be summers spent at the cottage, with your grandma bringing out her infamous lemon snow pudding. Let each memory lead to another. Give in freely, and let yourself think of everything you and your grandma shared together.

Here is where you record a variety of feelings and anecdotes about your grandma. This is your time to engage in freewriting about the memories you thought of in Step 1. Thinking and writing are two completely different processes, so now you need to turn those thoughts into words. Remember to freewrite. You might have spent each weekend with your grandma, or you might have only seen her once or twice a year, needing a full day of plane travel to get there. Regardless, any time spent with your grandma is time worth writing about. Write down your memories and try to be as specific as you can.

You should now have at least a page of random memories before you. Then take a look at your notes and see if you can tie them to a theme. Your organizing will likely result in one or two main themes, with a few others scattered here and there. Some common themes you might have include the following:. Add your themes to the outline, and add bullet points under each one that briefly describe specific anecdotes.

If most of your memories center on baking and crafts, for example, the majority of your eulogy will focus on sharing anecdotes about those activities. Remember that above all this is a time to speak about your grandma. Through your words you want to help everyone else in the room picture your grandmother doing these activities, and then allow them to share the bond that comes through grieving.

Share the personal connection , and show everyone why your grandma will be missed. You might find it easier to write the middle section first and then work on the introduction and conclusion. Working on the eulogy in this way gives you time to think about how you want to address those sitting before you. Of course, you might prefer to start at the beginning, feeling that you need to get the opening lines written before you can put your full attention on the heart of the speech. Either way is perfectly acceptable. Here you will address the audience and introduce yourself.

My name is [First Name] [Last Name].

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My grandmother loved days like this. And humor at the beginning might be the best place because you could become too emotional later on. If you can, try to connect each story with a lesson she taught you or a bit of advice she gave you that came of great value years later. If your grandmother received special awards or achievements during her lifetime, go ahead and talk about them.

Be a proud grandchild. Your conclusion will be difficult to write, and likely more difficult to read out loud. In these last few lines, feel free to address your grandma directly. I loved it, of course. Everyone here knows just how much love you put into it.


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My name is Ivy Sundheim and I want to thank you for joining me in remembrance of my grandmother, Mrs. Adaline Nilsson. In fact, she loved it so much that she rarely ever left town. Five miles was her preferred driving limit, a preference she hinted at each time we saw her. Grandma Nilsson was happiest puttering in and around her home, and she took great pride in her rose garden. It wrapped around her shed and stopped next to an old red oak that was struck by lightning.

She loved that tree, and sometimes compared it to herself. While she might not have been sociable with those around her, Grandma Nilsson was friendly with the wildlife outside her door.

William F. Buckley's Eulogies of Famous Authors | Read It Forward

I used to be scared of them when I was young, but Grandma Nilsson mended my ways. Make their day. I was shaking, but as soon as I felt those soft whiskers and tiny paws, my fears disappeared. I remember my grandmother smiling at me. Then she stood up and stomped back to her rose garden.

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