I’ve got several posts at various stages in the draft process–I’m waiting to add pictures to some, trying to figure out the direction of others, and working on polishing the language of still others. But the last bit of editing I did was not on one of my own pieces; it was on el Guapo’s eulogy for his father, who died on Friday. He was 95.
I feel fortunate that I have not yet had to write a eulogy, and I hope many more years pass before that task falls to me. It’s a difficult job. On the one hand, people looking for comfort will hope to hear positive things said; on the other hand, when all is unrelentingly positive, there’s a risk that personality has been ironed out with the wrinkles. Acknowledging the whole person is important, which means that it can be a challenge to find some sort of balance.
And then there’s the emotional landscape that nearly always forms the backdrop of this particular writing project. I guess it’s possible that there are very organized people who have begun ahead of time to write those eulogies that they expect to be asked to deliver, but I don’t think that’s how these things usually work.
El Guapo did a fine job with this writing task. And his father did a fine job of living. He was a good man.