Writing your own words for a funeral

Michelle and Alex: writing your own words for a funeralThanks to Flinger, Michelle, for sharing this inspiration for writing your own words for a funeral.

This time last week, I had the privilege of leading a funeral for Michelle and family to celebrate the life of her dad, Alex. It was a sad day for the family, marking the loss of their generous, spirited, loving, much-loved dad, grandpa, great grandpa, brother, uncle.

And one of the highlights of the ceremony was when Michelle stood up and read her own words.

We had talked about readings and options and thought how lovely it would be for Michelle to share some memories.

Writing your own words for a funeral

There are many poems and readings out there that lend themselves well to a funeral… wonderful words, deeply felt emotions, beautifully crafted lines. But there’s nothing like your own words I think, with your own authentic voice and your signature style. You can do this in the form of a metaphor poem or you can do what Michelle did last week – draw a powerful pen picture of a life of lovely shared moments and memories in words.

Here’s what Michelle captured and read for her dad:

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES by Michelle for Alex

Going to collect my new sister in the car, singing songs;

Picking a kitten and jointly persuading Nicola that Elizabeth was not a good name;

In Mallorca, sitting on the rocks, in the dark, listening to the sea;

Lounging on the balcony watching lizards and smelling geraniums whilst putting to world to rights;

Swimming in the sea nearly drowning when we spotted the nudists;

Eating paella at the best local restaurant… never tasted better, but have visited less terrifying toilets;

Day trips to Valdemosa, Soller and the caves of Drach securing a life-long love of Spain;

Road trips to Ireland, kissing the Blarney Stone and absorbing its gift of eloquence;

Galloping on Sligo beaches, searches at Border crossings, all such an adventure;

Castles, brochs and lochs in Scotland, no sight of Nessie but great fun searching;

Meeting Judith Chalmers at the Valley of the Kings, Wishing we were there now;

Midnight walks with Sandy in Huntley Park;

Watching Hammer House of Horror;

Playing your precious records, breaking your needle, you said it needed replaced anyway;

The Good Morning message you sent your girls every day reminding us we were loved.

Just a few of thousands of memories I will treasure forever.

You don’t have to be a writer to do this. It doesn’t matter whether the grammar is right or the spelling is right. It’s all about the feeling and the genuine tribute you are paying. Just write it like a list of favourite moments and highlights. When you hear it read back, with love, it will be the most lovely poem you could possibly hear.

Read more about creating your own type of funeral.

Contact us if you want help.

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