Eulogist’s Block

My mother’s ashes were interred today…

I’ll visit her later. I probably owe her an explanation for my eulogy but we’ll let it stand. Hopefully this will suffice.

Mine included my brother’s and a poem from my son. Which was fortuitous. Because I had eulogist’s block.

I couldn’t think of what to say. All I had was a conversation I’d had the year before which I fictionalised in this post

Earlier that year, I was working in a call centre. Outbound calls. Asking strangers for donations. Even though it was for a great cause, I didn’t necessarily succeed. As I hate asking.

Until I received more than I expected in this particular phone call.

“Why am I even telling you this?” She asked me. “I can actually answer that,” I replied without thinking. Even though our situations were completely different, and of course if I was in hers, I wouldn’t feel as she did.

She got some advice from me about looking after herself so she can look after others. I felt at that the time my words were rather trite and cliched. I still wonder if I helped her at all.

But it was she said next that finished me. “I want to live a life that honours my father and mother (she’d lost both in quick succession).” Words which deeply affected me although I had no idea why at the time.

I had no reply. The call ended as it did: with no donation. And I left the role shortly afterwards, for another one.

But that story became my eulogy.

You see my mother lived her life to honour her father and mother. And she succeeded. And I think my caller knew. Hopefully me too.

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