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Writing a tribute or eulogy

Thursday, March 30, 2006
I suddenly realised that it's been a whole month since I wrote anything. I've been (almost, kind of but, essentially, not quite) finishing my thesis, and then my grandmother, Violetta, died...

Now here's a thing. My mum asked me if I would write a eulogy or tribute to read/say at my grandmother's funeral. The whole process of making and sharing this tribute with my family and friends showed me, once again, the transformative powers of writing and story-telling.

I began to think about all the stories my grandmother used to tell me about her life. She grew up in very difficult circumstances and in the kind of poverty that very few people have to experience now in this country (although there is still far too much suffering and inequality here in the UK). But I began to think about how important my Grandma's stories about her early life have been in forming the person that I am today, what I believe in, my sense of the past, and how I choose to live now. Her stories were never the slightest bit self-pitying. But, without her ever being aware of it, they taught me about courage, determination and the value of finding laughter and fun in even the most challenging situations.

I'm so grateful that I had the chance to write the eulogy and to remember my grandmother's stories with my mum and dad, my sister, my cousins and our friends. It felt very important somehow. Here is a link to a helpful guide to writing a eulogy.