This speech can be extremely difficult as it typically seeks to sum up many of the feelings of despair, anger, confusion and sorrow that accompany the sudden death of a small child. Gather information by things such as jotting down as many personal notes about the deceased as possible. Also, reviewing photo albums may remind you of important things to mention about this child. A eulogy is mostly about your personal thoughts, your personal views, and your personal remembrances.
You will likely see some repetition in your notes, which can be helpful in leading you to the main theme. This past summer an obituary of a Seattle woman named Jane Lotter, who died of cancer at 60, went viral. The author of the obit was Lotter herself. How precious you all have been to me. Knowing and loving each one of you was the success story of my life. She asked him about his spiritual beliefs. He replied :. I don't believe in an afterlife.
I don't believe in a single or multiple godhead. I respect people who do, but I don't believe it myself. But there's a big "but" which enters in here: I am much more conscious than I ever was, for obvious reasons, of what it will mean to people left behind once I'm dead. It won't mean anything for me, but it will mean a lot to them, and it's important for them, by which I mean my children or my wife or my close friends, that some spirit of me is, in a positive way, present in their lives, in their heads, in their imaginings and so on.
So in one curious way I've come to believe in the afterlife as a place where I still have moral responsibilities, just as I do in this life except that I can only exercise them before I get there. Once I get there, it'll be too late. So no god, no organized religion, but a developing sense that there's something bigger than the world we live in, including after we die, and that we have responsibilities in that world.
So whether you believe in an afterlife, as I do, or not, by being fully present in your life and in the lives of those you love, you are creating your own afterlife and writing your own eulogy. It's a valuable lesson, even more so while we have the good fortune of being healthy and having the energy and freedom and lack of impediments to create a life of purpose and meaning.
It shouldn't take a near-death experience to remind us of what we're all going to lose one day. We may be overcome with anger and guilt. We must sadly admit that, although we do not know all the circumstances surrounding this death; unfortunately suicide is not unusual. We say not unusual because of biblical, historical, and contemporary records.
There are seven recorded instances of suicide in the Bible. Every year approximately two million people attempt suicide, and fifty thousand are successful.
Every minute someone tries to self-destruct. Five thousand youth succeed. Suicides occur most frequently in the spring and holiday seasons, on Thursday, among Protestants. Three or four times as many men as women take their lives in this country. In the face of this, how must we respond? We, the living, have responsibilities to the fellow citizens of our community of life. We do not know what causes a person to resort to taking his own life. It can be burdens about which we had no knowledge or overwhelming tension, anxiety, failures, unresolved guilt, loneliness, or the relentless attack of our ancient adversary, Satan, whom the Bible calls our accuser.
It can be a chemical imbalance that, for a period of time, causes reason to be replaced, mental control to be lost, and judgment and the stronger sense of pursuing life to be snapped. We should be sensitive to the cries for help that surface in our families, friends, and colleagues.
If someone mentions suicide to us, we should take it seriously. We should express genuine interest in their problems, listen carefully to such phrases as "I'm thinking about checking out" or "I'm just tired of living. These simple things can be the difference between life and death. We should humbly remember as one has written: "We are all so much more fragile than we know - because what we feel and do can hardly be understood apart from our past and present life circumstances.
What about the question of suicide's being the unforgivable sin? The church had little to say about it in the early centuries, but Augustine, in the fourth century, asserted that suicide was a sin. A person can destroy the body, but not the spirit. The Bible is clear that we go either to heaven or hell based solely on our relationship to Jesus Christ.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" Eph. We believe, as Scripture so firmly assures us, that all who have trusted Jesus Christ can never be separated from his eternal love.
Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in the Scripture None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing - nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable - absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us Rom.
In the midst of our questions and grief over this distressing and complex heartache, we turn our hearts to the supreme truth: We have a Savior who, in troubling times, is unshakable!
Once, after a particularly dark week during which the port of Singapore fell, he closed his broadcast with this sentence: "Singapore has fallen, but the Rock of Ages stands.
This is the time - when we walk through this windstorm of life - that we find our footing in the shifting sands of emotional feelings and mental anguish by looking to Jesus who promised, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives" John We've also emailed you this offer. She loved to dance and was infamous for a move she patented which we called the worm.
She would write never—ending canons about CATS and sing them all day long. She was a muse to photographers and painters. She wrote poetry and developed complex character voices which reflected the subject matter to perform them with.
She drew hilariously uncanny images of human-nosed alien cats, the queen of hearts, and bear shaped balloons. She listened to Angela Davis speeches as she cleaned house and walked around town. She read constantly about social justice and feminism. She loved the Black Panthers.
She wanted a white kitten to name Lil Elizabeth. She cherished her own cat Blue over most anything else in life, and he her. She was the most loyal and dedicated friend I or anyone could fathom. Although we never got to take GAW to the heights we imagined, one of the most interesting things about this experience for me in particular has been the number of times I have heard from friends and strangers alike that they mourn my loss with me because when they would see she and I out and about, they saw all of the things we wanted to portray, that our friendship inspired them through our confidence, loyalty, and love.
I know this would make her so happy to know. Within our friendship, we always tried to make a practice of turning negatives into positives, and that is what I would like to try to do right now. Know this, the passing of Elizabeth Blue is a tragedy no doubt, but there are some wonderful things to come of it. But as of recently, I have seen a change in the people who surrounded Elizabeth and loved her and cared for her. For some, it had been a surge of creativity, a revitalization of their artistic identity.
Some have written songs about her. For others, it has been the security of finding a home, or a job, or deciding to go to school, the opportunity to go on tour or star in plays and movies.