Eulogy writing requires time.
The problem with funerals or memorial services is that they usually take place within three or four days of your loved one's death. There are so many details to take care of, so many emotions running rampant, so many people to comfort, that carving out a few hours of quiet to collect your thoughts and write is often difficult. Our eulogy writers will deliver a wonderful eulogy to you within one day, allowing you to minister to family members and other mourners without speech writing being on your mind.
Eulogy writing requires skill.
Most of us are not talented writers. Yet we want this final tribute to our father or mother or sibling to be well done. And it should be. A professional writer can accomplish that. You, in consultation with the writer, can make it perfect.
Our eulogies are approximately a thousand words long, requiring about seven minutes to speak. Two examples follow. One was written in the third person and the other in first. Names have been changed for privacy.
One of our writers (a couple, actually) has written a book of 175 eulogies that you may find helpful. See "In Celebration of These Lives" by the Revs. Ralph and Carol DiBiasio-Snyder.
Two Recently Written Eulogies
THOMAS ALLEN BERZON
Thomas Allen Berzon’s middle name was surely, in reality, ‘the boatman.’ Somewhere, very early in his life, Tom developed a passion for boats that never let up. Family legend has it that he bought his first boat when he was ten years old. Then, for the next six decades, he never lived a day without owning at least one and, when he was out on the water, he was truly in his element.
Tom loved his Switzer (he loved Switzer boats more than all others). His Switzer was the ‘family boat’ for over twenty five years. The Silver family was always on it in Pewaukee, Lake Lac La Belle, Nagawica, Namabin, Lake Michigan, or the Milwaukee River… Tom and Judy raised their family in Pewaukee and they all spent as much time as they could out on Big Cedar Lake, where Tom taught the kids the joy of water skiing and, across the street from their home, the wonders of Great Lake Michigan.
Tom was always a family man and spending time with Judy and their kids (Erik and Carrie) as they grew up and, later with their spouses (Jen and Steve) made him as happy as a man could be. Erik and Carrie’s friends would often accompany the family when they were teens and Tom and Judy were always delighted to include them as part of the family. When the grandkids came along (Dylan, Skyler and Jackson), Tom’s joy was doubled. That next generation of Silvers (and Stock’s) thrilled him more than he could say.
Tom was always in love with the outdoors. He grew up in Wauwatosa and spent hundreds of hours out on the Wauwatosa Highlands riding his bike early in the mornings. He would thrill to the sounds of nature – the morning doves, the other creatures of nature awakening and preparing for the new day. He loved the quietness and solitude of God’s creation.
Once his day got started, Tom would “make my ‘rounds’ on my 20” bike with saddlebags that were army bags.” The ‘rounds’ were to about six car dealers to look through their junk to find treasures.
One of the treasures he found in those early years was a pipe frame that needed wheels and other adjustments but had brakes. He collected some aluminum and melted it down in his parent’s house furnace and made a steering wheel. Eventually he would end up putting a 16hp Evinrude motor on it making it a super fast, fun ride.
Tom could make or fix just about anything. If it was broken, even if he didn’t know exactly how it was supposed to be repaired, he’d see it as a personal challenge and set about fixing it.
Tom and Judy met in a sociology class in college. A friend introduced them. They were engaged by the end of 1969 and married four months later (Judy made her own wedding dress and did all the planning for the big event in about a month while Tom was on leave from the Navy – before he had to head back to Vietnam. Then, for the next 46 years they showed the world what a couple in love ought to look like. It wasn’t always smooth sailing (no relationship is), but their commitment to one another and that “till death do us part” line they said in that church on their wedding day, meant something to them.
Tom was a proud member of the Christian Science Church. He was active in Wisconsin and in Missouri – he served on church boards and he served as an usher. He was the kind of man who fit the description of a man of faith. He was humble. He was patient. He was honest. He was generous. He was kind.
Tom and Judy left their beloved Wisconsin in 1998. Erik was in college in Missouri. Carrie and her family were already living there. Memories and friends and a lifetime of being a cheese-head all taken into account, family always won. They gladly moved to O'Fallon and never looked back… They had some wonderful friends in and around Mequon. Tim Sallach, a buddy from Mercury Marine in Cedarburg… Craig Charles. He and Craig were friends since grade school. But family being together trumped just about everything else in life. Tom learned to love Missouri. They have lakes where he could boat. He was happy.
The greatest days of Tom and Judy’s lives were the days on which Dylan, Skyler and Jackson were born. That next generation – new ‘family.’ For a family man, there are few things in life more satisfying than having new babies born…
Tom was, for the most part, a pretty quiet man – he was at peace with himself. But he knew that the key to living life well was the reaching out to others and lending a hand – with stepping forward to do what needed to be done. He was never afraid to get his hands dirty or to help someone with something. That is the lesson he most wanted to pass on to his kids and grand-kids – practice your faith – do unto others – enjoy life – do good.
Ultimately cancer took Tom’s life, but not even death – not even suffering – could conquer his spirit or his faith or his love.
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My mother was truly one-of-a-kind. Always beautiful – glamorous, actually. There wasn’t anyone who ever met her who didn’t think she was one of the most beautiful women they had ever met. She loved clothes. Whatever the occasion, she was dressed for it. She always had the latest and most “in” fashions. She knew what looked good on her and she capitalized on that at every turn. Even her hair was done up in a wonderful way. One of her favorite things to do was to go to the salon and get her hair done. In fact, in these last couple of months her NOT wanting to go told us all how sick she really was. But even in these last days she looked like an angel. As she lay there dying, she had a sense of serenity that can only come from a life lived fully and well.
She had that sense about her. She was self-confident and poised. She loved to laugh and dance. Music moved her soul and her entire body wasn’t far behind. If an oldie was on the radio, she was moving to it. She just couldn’t stay still if Chubby Checker or Elvis was playing. She and Jessica (Johnny’s wife) loved to get together at wedding receptions and tear up the floor, doing the Cha Cha and the Jitterbug. Even as she got older and dancing was only a wonderful memory, Diane would record her favorite TV programs – “Dancing With the Stars” and “Entertainment Tonight.” She seldom missed an show and even enjoyed seeing them over and over again.
She grew up in South Philadelphia. Hers wasn’t always an easy life. No one’s is, of course, but mom came out of it with a wonderfully positive attitude toward life. Her brothers taught her how to be tough. They were boxers. They taught her to use every ounce of her five feet and one inch to her advantage and to not take anything from anyone. She never forgot those lessons and worked hard to pass them on to her own children – all of us: me and Diane and Johnny and Sam. We all remember the story of Johnny being bullied by a boy in the neighborhood. He’d chase him down after school and beat on him. Mom saw what was happening and told Albert he had to go out there and face this young ruffian. She stood at the window and watched. Johnny did. He found out that the boy wasn’t as tough as he thought and Johnny became the champion of the neighborhood – thanks to mom.
She was a great role model. Because of her, all of our families have benefited in so many ways. She guarded our growing up years, teaching us solid values and making sure we would turn out to be good people. She would have been sorely disappointed if we hadn’t passed those on to our own children. We gave her and dad six grandchildren. She adored them and watching them grow up into wonderful adults was, probably, one of the deepest pleasures of her life. When they were young they loved to tell their grandmother stories because she listened and laughed at the right times and gave them all the encouragement she possibly could. Who wouldn’t adore a grandmother like that?
They produced eight great grandkids. What a joy they were to her and dad. Just being around those little ones was wondrous and neither could believe how quickly they grew up… Then little Finley was born – a great-great granddaughter. Finley was at her bedside two days before mom died, on her first day in hospice. She looked at that little one and marveled. She said she looked just like Jeanette at that age. Finley won’t remember a lot about her grandmother, but because of us and her parents, part of mom is in her and always will be.
Mom loved to clean house. That, in itself, sets her apart from almost all other women in the world. She loved to vacuum. She did it so much that at one point the neighbors told her they thought they were living near an airport. They’ve lived in that house for over fifty years.
Needless to say, their house was immaculate. No dirt. No dust. Nothing out of place – at least not for very long.
Mom’s greatest love in life was her family. Well, actually her greatest love was for our father. They’ve been married for sixty years! They met back in about 1954 or so – got married in ’55. She was working at Wonder Bread Company and dad was a truck driver making deliveries there. He saw her and immediately liked her. But he was ten years younger and she thought the age difference was too much. She kept putting him off. But he wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and kept coming around until she finally gave in. Neither one of them ever regretted it. His youth and spirit earned him, later, the nickname “goofball” because he loved being silly and she loved it too. Dad also loves to tell war stories to anyone who will listen. She had heard them all so many times she could practically tell them herself. She was always saying, “There he goes again. He never shuts up.” But she loved the fact that he told those dear old stories. She knew they were a part of the man she loved. Even in her last days she heard him telling them to one of the nurses, even though she could barely speak, she croaked out one last “there he goes again, telling the same story.”
He also loved to tell the story of taking her home to meet his parents out in the country in North Carolina. “She was such a city girl,” he would say. “We went on a hike through the mountains and all she had to wear were wedges.”
Mom’s second greatest love in life was her family. There was nothing that gave her more pleasure than having the family together, cooking for us (she was a great cook), watching us interact with one another and love one another. She was always the “glue” that held us together as a family. We’ll stay together because of her influence. That’s how she taught us.
She did the same with her own family growing up. She grew up in the Depression years and learned to take on responsibilities around the house and take care of others. Later on those lessons would serve her well as she took care of her mother and sister as their health failed, caring for them until their dying day.
Mom was a woman of faith. She went to Mass every day at St. Edens. She was a woman of prayer. She dearly loved her Lord and the church and all it stood for. She loved the hymns and the liturgy and the scripture lessons. There was no place that she felt more in touch with who she was than in church. I’m pretty sure that her connection with God was so solid that God would hear her prayers and pretty much do whatever she asked. She had said, as she saw she was dying, that she would like to die on Easter. God said, “Why not?” and took her home on that most sacred of days. And now she is in heaven, probably dancing with the angels and making them laugh and enjoying her Jesus whom she loved for so long.
Mom was, as nearly as any human can be, ageless. Her attitudes were never ‘old.’ Her outlook was always up-beat. She always dressed like a million dollars. She was, maybe, a little vain, but she was able to carry that off with class and no one minded. We all saw her for the true beauty she was. And her heart… Mom had a generosity of spirit that was seen by everyone. If someone had a need, she would do whatever she could to meet it. She had a tender heart and loved to be there for you.
Now that she is gone, life will change for all of us. That strength, that beauty, that unconditional love that she maintained in the world, is gone. But she is not gone. Who she was and what she was all about is in each of us who knew her and were loved by her. In that regard, she will never die.
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