Monday, November 01, 2010

Summing A Life 

Attending a funeral yesterday, it struck me that writing a eulogy is a task that a PR practitioner encounters, albeit rarely.  And, it is a difficult job.  One wants to sum a life positively without denying the humanity of the deceased.  There is a combination of sadness, laughter and memory.  It is important that dates be right in retelling a person's life, that events be recalled in their proper order, that those who knew the person recognize the individual in the words and approve.  In ancient days of rhetorical training, one was taught how to do this.  Few are today.  Instead, each person takes up the task anew in a time of grief and attempts to master an unfamiliar craft.  Yesterday's eulogy was well done and hit the right notes and feelings, but it must have been hard for the person who gave it.  She was eulogizing her much-loved mother, and it would have been too easy to succumb to pain.  She didn't but she didn't hide her sadness either.  I only hope that I might do as well if a day should come that I'm asked to remember another.


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