How to Write a Eulogy for a 10-Year-Old
Writing a eulogy is an act of loving someone a lot and letting them go a little
I wish you didn’t need this. You shouldn’t need this. But if you do, I am placing this here for you as a small offering of love. You are not alone. If you are called to write a remembrance for your child, I am with you. You can do this.
A few days after Ewan died, I Googled “how to write a eulogy for an 8-year-old.” Google replied, “About 0 results (0.63 seconds).” I loosened my search to “how to write a eulogy for a child.” The top return, among 7 million, instructed me to do the following:
Step 1: Begin the Writing Process as Soon as You Are Able.
Step 2: Gather Ideas.
Step 3: Research Quotes, Bible Verses, or Poems to Use in the Eulogy.
Step 4: Write, Share, and Rewrite.
Step 5: Practice the Eulogy in Front of a Mirror.
Fuck you. Fuck this, I thought. I don’t want a 5-step formula; I want my child back! This isn’t a research project. This is not a problem with a quick-fix solution, like fixing a leaky faucet, and no way I am going to practice giving a speech about my dead child in front of a mirror. I slammed my laptop shut and pulled the covers back over my head. Clearly, I was not able.
I had been in bed for a week straight. Blinds drawn, lights off, door closed. I didn’t get up to brush my teeth, change clothes, or eat. But I wasn’t sleeping. I was remembering, wishing for things to be different, and listening to the arrhythmic beating of my broken heart. But there were things to do. As a parent, there are always things to do. Unfortunately, I needed to add the following to the list:
- Find a funeral home
- Decide on an outfit for deceased child
- Select a venue
- Plan a service
- Write a eulogy
My broken heart said, “Writing a eulogy for my eight-year-old is too hard. I can’t.” But my head swarmed with a beehive of words circling in and out of my ears. Even up in my nostrils. I shooed them away with every exhale. Shapes of words…