its my funeral … here’s my eulogy.

Today at Mass  we had an elderly Parishioner to bury, who had no mourners.

Not one.

Empty pews at the front.

It was a stark statement that the little man had been married, had no family, his wife had died, and once he went into a nursing home he became forgotten about by any contacts.

but you know what, the Priest still read a Eulogy at the Homily, 6 hefty Parishioners carried him out, all of my choir sang him out of the Church, and his attendees were the Parishioners.

It was a very poignant statement, and yet a very strong statement of Community.

But i have spoken so much about it since this morning , and was very glad that he got as fullsome (if more lonely) a farewell as any one else would have.

i got to thinking…

about my funeral.

not in a macabre grim mortality way!

but i don’t want a lot of drama.

i HATE when a priest rhymes out a chronology of the person’s life…i 1975 she changed the car. in 1977 she met the man of her dreams….i HATE that! And i have heard too many of those and grated my teeth as i listened to the formulated farewell.

i also strongly object to being buried by a man who clearly has “done his homework” – and reads the list of names, and items about your most significant events, with scraps of information fed to him third hand. Am always aware – and on my more crotchety days tempted to point out that all of the mourners could do a better , more personal reminiscence than that bland blurb!

I do know that as i work directing a church choir i have friends who are priests, but i have a twisted sense of  annoyance at the funerals where there are enough clergy on the altar to vote in a Pope for some funerals, and some quiet good living little people get one. So I would like a personal friend to do the service – and any other attendees, can sit down  way to the side…no big holy show.

I am sure if i am still connected with the choir, they will sing me out. And that will be lovely – and G (the organist from the cathedral across the road…our Cross-community neighbours) will play and direct the choir.

Now since i have such strong feelings about what i don’t want as my Eulogy, it seems an easy opt out if i don’t know what i do want. So it just struck me, if you actually had to write your own Eulogy would you live any differently? But anyhow before i go  off on a tangent….

  • no big accolades…it’s not a time for writing a CV!
  • no big pretentious crap about my life being perfect.
  • no time to be a pillar of society
  • respect is earned NOT an entitlement that comes with a qualification
  • i am musically talented – reference will have to be paid – but make it in a way that it was the gift of music and that it made a difference to others
  • not the major events i performed at, the prodigious pupils i produced…more the fact that I played a part in Community life.
  • i want NOT to have my health conditions listed like a shopping list, but maybe comment on the fact that i did the best i could despite challenging health – and took part in local life because i wanted to.
  • that i have raised 4 children. NOT defined by their degrees or achievements, but 4 very different children who have very different strengths and qualities…maybe at this stage drop in a wee final reminder from me, that “if you treat people nicely, they will treat you nicely…so pay it forward – do what you can to help others” Let that be my legacy to them.
  • maybe let the kids know i would have tried to change the world for each one of them! (and tried many many times)
  • i was always honest. i was direct and you knew where you stood with me…to be honest i think that the world would be a better place if we all did a bit more of that.
  • that i didn’t have time for small talk, and stuff that i din’t have any interest in, i was able to say NO to.
  • that yes…i finally agree…my husband is a Saint. … many years of living with me, and looking after me, and i love him for it…and we are very opposite people. He is as laid down as i am wound up…maybe that’s a tip for successful partnership.
  • that i judged people as i found them. not by who they were, what they were, how qualified they were, what faith they were, what car they drove, what house they had…but how decent they were.
  • that i never was bound by rules. I have a pic n mix faith – and in my opinion am a Christian person in how i live, not what sacraments i attend.
  • that i never lived a flawless life – there were people i matched up to head on – but NOT without cause…and rarely was the cause for personal gain, it was for better health care for all, better standard of education for all, fair treatment of disabilities…and yes i locked horns with many” big wigs”- and enjoyed every minute of it. But was motivated by injustice…maybe i should have lived during the crusades! lol
  • there were people who i drew the line in the sand with nd said enough. people i shut out of my life. That i feel no guilt about. was not a decision i would have made lightly, but was always to protect myself and my family. But i make no final dramatic apology for living by my beliefs.
  • So basically, i did my best…i hope that was enough.
  • i Hope i was a friend as i valued mine.

so there you go…

pick n mix in life, pick n mix in death….

so as i look through the list, i don’t have to dramatically do a Paul on the road to Damascus conversion. I just keep trying my best for the people i love and care for.

and maybe on my headstone…..TWITTER SERVICE INTERRUPTED 🙂





    • why thank you!…
      as always i feel such a fraud blogging, as i really don’t write…i more speak it on to the page.
      and i don’t reread or proofread as i would probably delete at least half of them!

      But somehow it is strangely cathartic..


  1. I was entertained by the crop of clergy who turned up for my mother’s funeral. She’d have enjoyed it, especially as it was nothing to do with her really, it was all politics. She lived in one parish, but wanted buried from the next door parish, with the bigger church, where she’d lived most of her life. Hilariously, all the priests from each parish turned up, determined not to be outdone. We needed something to smile about that day, so we chose that!

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