If you’d like to write a tribute after a death but don’t feel able, here’s how to do it – inspired by a participant in our recent Absent Friends Supper.
Writing a tribute is a lovely way of remembering someone who mattered. It lets us get to the essence them by recalling some of their unique features or your unique view or sense of them.
You can read a tribute at a funeral or at the gathering after a funeral.
You might add it to a note with graveside flowers.
You can post it in your Memory Box on Final Fling.
You can share it on social media.
It can be lovely to share a tribute with family at the time of the funeral, in the liminal weeks after a funeral or at a memorial event.
We don’t all experience the world and people in the world in the same way. I have 5 siblings and I’m pretty confident we have all experienced my parents and life growing up on the farm completely differently. I remember hearing my brother describe my dad as being a stickler for protocol, someone who valued tradition. I remember him as a liberal, someone who was able to support me in my choices, whatever they were. Those views are not opposing – they are just different takes on the same man from two other people bringing their own values to bear in assessing him.
So there’s no right or wrong in writing a tribute. It’s entirely about your own feelings and memories. Jotting these down helps paint a rich picture of someone you’ve lost. Captures their essence. Just be open to hearing conflicting views! Allow others to have their own perspective and sense of the person you are remembering.
How to write a tribute after a death
See the simple ‘metaphor poem’ prompts we gave guests at our Absent Friends Supper. These helped Dorothy create her tribute for Manus. A lovely dedication, it brings him to life.
He was black
A handsome waistcoat, a bicycle, an Iris
He was a beautiful writing desk, writing wonderful letters
He was red wine, brilliant company
He was late evening
He was a violin, singing
He was a band.
Check out more about writing or speaking at a funeral or after a death in our post on eulogy, elegy and obituary.