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Kay's friend

Posted by Kay S on 3/18/01 at 17:48 (041801)

I know it has been almost a week since I posted, but I am ready to tell you all now that my friend, Jan, died this past Thursday. Her whole family was there, and though some of them don't think it was 'beautiful' I doubt they will ever regret being there. I had seen her the day before, and knew that it wouldn't be more than a day or so, but the finality of it all is still very sad.
We have spent some time with the family, and this whole weekend I have been working on a eulogy for Jan, which I will give tomorrow at her memorial service. Yesterday when I finished, I knew something was wrong with it, but couldn't decide what it was, so I put it away and went back to it today. I feel that I made it better, and called my friend in Florida, who doesn't even know Jan, and read it to her. I wanted to see if she'd feel like she knew Jan after that.........had I captured the essence of what made her so special? Besides that, it is better to read something like that out loud a couple of times so you don't blubber through it when you are actually doing it. My Fla. friend told me: 'Don't change a word'. So now I won't. Then she asked me to give her eulogy, and said I could use Jan's! We had a good laugh about that, and it was comforting to me to share this with her.
I want to thank all of you who have prayed for Jan, and who have given me such understanding concerning this.
I will be back more regularly when things settle down a bit. I hope my feet behave when I am standing up there. It is so darn inconvenient to have to think about that, isn't it?
Kay

Re: Kay's friend

wendyn on 3/18/01 at 18:13 (041803)

Sorry about your friend Kay, I am glad that you could be there for her. You have such a great privledge to be able to get up in front of everyone and honor your friend with your thoughts and memories.

I know you will get through the euglogy...remember to breathe deep and drop your shoulders to relax. It can be very, very hard but it's also a very healing process and it will help you as much as it helps everyone else.

My husband read and re read the eulogy he gave for his best frined many times before he had to say it so that he would be prepared for the emotions. I think for many of us, if you are very involved in the death and preparations...by the time the funeral comes there often just aren't even any tears left.

Take care - and don't forget to take care of yourself too over the next few days.

Re: Kay's friend

Nancy S. on 3/18/01 at 19:38 (041805)

Kay, as you know I'm so sorry for all you and your friend and her family have been through. I want to encourage you not to worry if you 'break down' at times during the eulogy. I gave a eulogy (one of four) at my friend Albert's memorial service last Saturday, and I was worried about that too -- and reread it many many times beforehand -- and several people told me during all my worrying, 'It doesn't matter if you cry. Other people will cry, and everyone understands.'
And that's how it turned out. I cried 2 or 3 times and wasn't sure I'd be able to continue, but I was and was so glad I'd done it.
It turned out that a few of us even in the middle of our tears also had a funny story or two to tell about Albert, which broke the tension and made people laugh out loud.
I'm sure you'll do fine, whether you cry or not -- it's the expression of what you knew about the person and why you loved the person that counts. It's a very intense experience to share that and go through the grief with other people -- very powerful, and it was hard for everyone there, but healing.
Will be thinking of you.
Nancy

Re: Kay's friend/On your eulogy

Beverly on 3/18/01 at 20:35 (041815)

Kay,

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, Jan. I remember reading that you spent a great deal of time with her at the end. That's something you can feel good about for the rest of your life, because sitting with a dying person is very difficult.

I feel sure your eulogy will be beautiful. Reading it on the phone to your friend probably helped boost your nerves about getting up in front of everyone. Public speaking is never easy and when it happens at times of great emotional distress, it may feel harder. But I think once you get up there, the words will just flow right out. And I agree with Nancy, don't worry one bit about crying. Just pack some Kleenex.

I am an ex-pastor. (PF largely put me on the sidelines. Not a footfriendly profession.) My experience at funerals is that people are actually moved when the speakers cry. They'll cry with you. Reading it out loud a few times always helps with any public address. Here is a tip I learned back when I was a preacher: blow your font up to 14 pt. or bigger. Then use a yellow highligher to highlight every other line. Discovered this helped keep me from loosing my place when I looked away from the manuscript. Just do it from your heart, and you'll be great!

My sympathies,
Beverly

Re: Kay's friend

Laurie R on 3/18/01 at 20:35 (041816)

Hi Kay,
Thank God that your friend had you as her friend. You are such a wonderful person...What a very hard thing to have to do.We are thinking about you....... Laurie R

Re: Kay's friend

Julie on 3/19/01 at 03:41 (041830)

Dear Kay

A practical suggestion (offered tentatively because I don't know if you will think it possible) is that you sit to deliver your eulogy. I'm thinking of a straight-backed chair, without arms,in which you can sit upright, with your notes in your lap. You wouldn't be in pain - and the mourners would see the whole of you, and have a stronger connection with you than if you're standing behind a lectern. I know it sounds unconventional, and maybe unacceptable, but...

I know you'll be all right at the service, and that your love for Jan will shine through everything you say, and through your tears when they come. You won't be thinking of yourself, but of Jan and the people who are there, so there is nothing to be anxious about.

All good wishes

Julie

Re: Kay's friend

Cynthia D on 3/20/01 at 14:39 (041957)

Oh, Kay, I'm so very sorry. I don't have anything to add but that my thoughts are with you.

Re: Kay's friend

wendyn on 3/18/01 at 18:13 (041803)

Sorry about your friend Kay, I am glad that you could be there for her. You have such a great privledge to be able to get up in front of everyone and honor your friend with your thoughts and memories.

I know you will get through the euglogy...remember to breathe deep and drop your shoulders to relax. It can be very, very hard but it's also a very healing process and it will help you as much as it helps everyone else.

My husband read and re read the eulogy he gave for his best frined many times before he had to say it so that he would be prepared for the emotions. I think for many of us, if you are very involved in the death and preparations...by the time the funeral comes there often just aren't even any tears left.

Take care - and don't forget to take care of yourself too over the next few days.

Re: Kay's friend

Nancy S. on 3/18/01 at 19:38 (041805)

Kay, as you know I'm so sorry for all you and your friend and her family have been through. I want to encourage you not to worry if you 'break down' at times during the eulogy. I gave a eulogy (one of four) at my friend Albert's memorial service last Saturday, and I was worried about that too -- and reread it many many times beforehand -- and several people told me during all my worrying, 'It doesn't matter if you cry. Other people will cry, and everyone understands.'
And that's how it turned out. I cried 2 or 3 times and wasn't sure I'd be able to continue, but I was and was so glad I'd done it.
It turned out that a few of us even in the middle of our tears also had a funny story or two to tell about Albert, which broke the tension and made people laugh out loud.
I'm sure you'll do fine, whether you cry or not -- it's the expression of what you knew about the person and why you loved the person that counts. It's a very intense experience to share that and go through the grief with other people -- very powerful, and it was hard for everyone there, but healing.
Will be thinking of you.
Nancy

Re: Kay's friend/On your eulogy

Beverly on 3/18/01 at 20:35 (041815)

Kay,

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, Jan. I remember reading that you spent a great deal of time with her at the end. That's something you can feel good about for the rest of your life, because sitting with a dying person is very difficult.

I feel sure your eulogy will be beautiful. Reading it on the phone to your friend probably helped boost your nerves about getting up in front of everyone. Public speaking is never easy and when it happens at times of great emotional distress, it may feel harder. But I think once you get up there, the words will just flow right out. And I agree with Nancy, don't worry one bit about crying. Just pack some Kleenex.

I am an ex-pastor. (PF largely put me on the sidelines. Not a footfriendly profession.) My experience at funerals is that people are actually moved when the speakers cry. They'll cry with you. Reading it out loud a few times always helps with any public address. Here is a tip I learned back when I was a preacher: blow your font up to 14 pt. or bigger. Then use a yellow highligher to highlight every other line. Discovered this helped keep me from loosing my place when I looked away from the manuscript. Just do it from your heart, and you'll be great!

My sympathies,
Beverly

Re: Kay's friend

Laurie R on 3/18/01 at 20:35 (041816)

Hi Kay,
Thank God that your friend had you as her friend. You are such a wonderful person...What a very hard thing to have to do.We are thinking about you....... Laurie R

Re: Kay's friend

Julie on 3/19/01 at 03:41 (041830)

Dear Kay

A practical suggestion (offered tentatively because I don't know if you will think it possible) is that you sit to deliver your eulogy. I'm thinking of a straight-backed chair, without arms,in which you can sit upright, with your notes in your lap. You wouldn't be in pain - and the mourners would see the whole of you, and have a stronger connection with you than if you're standing behind a lectern. I know it sounds unconventional, and maybe unacceptable, but...

I know you'll be all right at the service, and that your love for Jan will shine through everything you say, and through your tears when they come. You won't be thinking of yourself, but of Jan and the people who are there, so there is nothing to be anxious about.

All good wishes

Julie

Re: Kay's friend

Cynthia D on 3/20/01 at 14:39 (041957)

Oh, Kay, I'm so very sorry. I don't have anything to add but that my thoughts are with you.