While They Can Still Hear (The Case For Living Eulogies)

john pavlovitz

We say pretty words about dead people.

There’s something about Death that forces the poet in us to the surface. When we lose someone we love, we suddenly feel free to speak beautiful, flowery sentiments of gratitude, and affection, and admiration; words that we’d kept bottled-up for years; words the other person had been longing their entire lives for.

And now that we’re finally ready to say them, they can’t hear.

My father passed away this time last year, and like many who grieve, I talk to him all the time. One of the greatest sources of peace I have, comes from the fact that he’s heard it all before.

He knew I loved him and respected him and was grateful for him, because I’d told him when he was alive. While I often wonder if the words reach him now, I take comfort in knowing that they reached him then.

Life can be shockingly mundane…

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