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Essence of a life

The funeral had been organised after his sudden and unexpected passing. I was filled with a sense of dread and overwhelmed with grief. To eulogize a life is a great responsibility but one that was immensely difficult, creating a complex tempest of emotions.

It had taken me many days to write. I’d read and re read the words over and over again to make sure they were perfect, mindful not to leave out any details and ensure they truly express the deep love and sadness that I felt. It was a great honour, but it bore a heavy burden on me that I had this enormous responsibility. I had known him all of my life, growing up together like brothers. Now that he was gone, I felt empty and alone.

Reflecting on all of the wonderful times we had shared together and the mischief we had gotten up to made me smile through the tears. Carefree days I recall fondly, sharing our secrets and hopes for when we were older. The future was ours for the taking, we lived in the moment and embraced our youth. He had been a part of every milestone, entwined in the fabric of my life and for that I am eternally grateful. These innocuous discussions I now grasp tightly, memories that now are my only connection to the life we shared.

Death causes one to be introspective and reflective. How do you truly measure the profound impact that an individual has on the people around them? How can you truly capture the essence of a life that has been cut unfairly short? I was overwhelmed at the news of his passing and inconsolable with grief. Then came the anger that he had been taken too soon and unfairly robbed of a future. Grief is a complex gamut of emotions, and our experiences of it are quite personal.

I wanted people who knew him merely in passing to celebrate his life, to understand how much he was loved and what he meant to those around him. He mattered and he had a profound impact on all of our lives and his legacy would survive in our shared memories and experiences.

At the funeral service, I steeled myself, taking in deep breaths as I tried to contain my grief. There would be time for tears later, but this was the last thing I could do to honour his memory and I had to get it right. I stoically made my way up to the lectern, my shirt collar and tie constricted my neck, feeling the sadness welling up inside of me.

I reached into my suit jacket. Unfolding the eulogy, I cast my eye over the congregation of mourners, his family seated in the front row. I looked over to the polished mahogany casket, his photograph framed in silver sitting on top and surrounded by flowers. Gaining my composure, I breathed in deeply and began to speak.

I hoped that he was listening and that he knew he’d always be in our hearts.

© T. Zerafa 2023

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my writing. If you haven’t read any of my other pieces, take a look through my blog. Please feel free to like, share, subscribe or comment below.


2 responses to “Essence of a life”

  1. Oh, what a heartbreaking piece. I’ve given a few eulogies and they are never easy. You’ve captured the feeling perfectly here. Hugs. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was one of the hardest days of my life. It was a few years ago now, but I’m only now able to write about it. I stumbled on the eulogy while I was sorting and it all came rushing back

      Liked by 1 person

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