What attitude would your lively mind adopt if it knew the glittering eulogy you’re listening to, or reading, was written by the deceased before they passed away?
I think your mind would think it’s like that office worker who helps himself to his colleagues’ packed lunches and bad-mouths them to management (the colleagues, not the lunches, which are rather good) writing his own reference in which he states honesty, consideration, loyalty – all are hallmarks of Dales’ relationship with his teammates.
Which brings me, beautifully, to a quote I have on a card:
Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.John Wooden
Dales’ reputation is that of the office jerk, accurately reflecting his character. This accuracy is not always attained. A fine reputation can mask a bad character, and a bad reputation can be pinned on a good character.
Speaking well of the undeserving dead
Last week I was part of a group discussing death.
A woman shared her feelings about the glowing review her friend’s dead ex-husband enjoyed on Facebook. She was angered by the hypocrisy and inaccuracy of certain claims made in the flattering tribute.
Rave life reviews are bound to piss us off when we’ve witnessed or experienced injustices at the hands of the recently departed. We’re not prepared for what feels like insult added to injury. The culprit gets off scot-free, embalmed in sweet-smelling reputation oils.
Bury your dead
Thinking of the villain as a soul who volunteered to play this role on the stage of my life depersonalizes the nasty mess for me. If they’re still here, I know that, no matter how many times I mutter Exit stage right, they’re not going to leave until they’ve delivered all their lines. And then, when they die…
they will likely be back for the eulogy curtain call, appearing as innocent as Casper the Friendly Ghost, blowing misty kisses to rising, swelling applause.
Everyone has people who love them, thinks the world of them, even the dastardly. That’s life, and true in death too. Don’t allow the opinions of others to gaslight your reality, but don’t allow their opinions to rot you. Rotting is for the dead.
Whether a villain is still here and drinking beer, or long gone and beginning to pong, I work hard to bury what is dead, and resist the urge to keep digging it up.
If none of this helps or consoles, I do as advised below, replacing ‘your boss’ with whatever fits. I suggest you do the same for your ‘Dale.’
If your boss is getting you down, look at him through the prongs of a fork and imagine him in jail.David Brent
We’re assuming you’re lunch is still in the fridge, and that you have a fork…
or has the lunch-snatcher nicked the office forks too?
To a funeral and eulogy we go
Mr Moses departed in the red, see? (pointing to an open-for-viewing coffin wherein lies the deceased, arms folded across his chest, hands resting on a giant credit card). He crossed over to the other side without any goddamn help from the powers that be. Brethren, let’s bow our heads and pray we are not told to follow in his footsteps. We do not wish to be left high and dry. Amen.
I’m dead serious when I tell you I’m joking.
If you are still here, as in reading my blog in your flesh, not as a Spirit, thank you.
If you are reading this and you’re in Heaven, thank you.
If you are Casper the Friendly Ghost, I am not familiar with your cartoons, but I did enjoy the first one featured in the video below because I’ve been to Ireland, and one of my sisters is married to an Irish man.
Toodle-oo, and mischievous leprechaun love to you.
xxx ❤ TeaShell Michele
2 thoughts on “Eulogy Grievances”
This really happened: I once received a phone call from a town not so far from where I live. Would I be so kind as to lead the funeral service for Mr. So and So this coming Saturday? Just about all the clergy from the area were away for an ecumenical conference or something. I barely could time-wise manage to sacrifice the whole Saturday afternoon and had not the faintest idea who the deceased or his family was. But in the end I agreed to help on condition that a family member or a very good friend of the deceased contact me and to a limited degree fill me in re who the person was I was about to bury. A close friend of the deceased did phone and shared in a condensed way a number of things re the life and times of the latter named. I felt inspired by what I heard and privileged to lead a service of consolation and gratitude for a remarkable life. On theological grounds I did assume that the deceased could not have been an archangel. But you never know, there might just be some kind of kinship. At the cemetery, I walked behind the hearse and the grieving family group. Walking with me was the man who had phoned me and had provided the required synopsis of a life so well lived. “You know,” he now confided in a muffled voice, “if ever there was a scoundrel, it was this guy.” “WHAT?!?!” I exclaimed, also in muffled voice, nearly falling into an open grave we were passing. And then this man shared a few sordid facts from a life well messed up. “When I asked him why he in our phone conversation had painted a fictitious life of a god-fearing, saintly man who loved nothing more than to serve his community, he answered: “But this is our custom here. Everybody in the church knew what kind of person the deceased really was, but our custom is that everyone is entitled to a nice burial service.”
I did not stay for the tea and sandwiches afterwards.
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Brilliantly told, funny, and a joy to read, Johan. Love it. Would you have stayed if they’d offered you a stiff drink? Or even more dastardly details? 😂
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