In this video, Dr. Wolfelt discusses how the eulogy allow us to process grief in a healthy and meaningful way:
Recalls the Life
The eulogy is a period of remembrance. The term eulogy is a faith-based term meaning, “to give praise or blessing to the life lived.” It refers to a period of time in the service where we go back and remember the life and legacy of a person who has died.
Tells the Love Story
A good eulogy tells the love story of the person who has died. The lives they touched, the difference they made, and people they helped…all these stories help to create a picture of the beautiful tapestry of a life well lived. Whether life was long or all too brief, the love story shared will inspire others to begin to understand the depth of the loss felt by those who survive.
Helps us Go Backward
A good eulogy helps us to reflect on the life that has been lost. After all, we must listen to the music of the past so that we can sing in the present and dance into the future. A ceremony that misses an element of going backward lacks an understanding of one of the basic functions of the funeral. A funeral is a rite of initiation; it gets us off to a good start. But we can’t start until we take a step back and reflect on where we have been and what we have lost. Only then can we begin to move forward in any kind of meaningful way.
Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt is an author, educator, and grief counselor with over 30 years of experience working with bereaved families. He has written many best-selling books on grief and loss, including Healing Your Grieving Heart and The Journey Through Grief. Dr. Wolfelt serves as the Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition. Visit him online at www.centerforloss.com.