When a loved one passes away, attending an ash-spreading ceremony can be a cathartic experience for family and friends. But it may also bring up challenging emotions. A eulogy can help honor the memory of the deceased while providing comfort to those who are grieving. Here are some tips for giving a eulogy at an ash-spreading ceremony.
What’s Different About Ash-Spreading vs. a Funeral?
The tone at an ash-spreading ceremony is likely to be more informal than at a traditional funeral. The family will often choose a location that was meaningful to their loved one and dress casually. Feel free to bring a photo, memento, or flowers.
What To Say in a Eulogy
When preparing your eulogy, think of ways that you can share memories of the person’s life. This could include sharing stories, anecdotes, or even songs and poems that evoke special memories. It’s also important to remember that there are no wrong words. You should strive to keep your eulogy as natural as possible.
If you’re having trouble thinking of what to say, refer to the decedent’s obituary, which will contain several important details about their life and accomplishments. Then, add some personal anecdotes and memories.
Keep It Short
Eulogies at ash-spreading ceremonies are traditionally short, usually no more than five minutes in length. If extemporaneous speaking makes you nervous, consider writing down what you have to say in advance and reading from it during the ceremony. This will help ensure you stay on track and don’t forget any of the special memories that you want to share.
Be Aware of Weather Conditions
The family will create the set-up for the ceremony and should tell you where they’d like you to stand. Be flexible and mindful of any inclement weather. Depending on the conditions, you may need to ask the family if you can stand in a different spot than originally planned so that guests won’t be staring into the sun or risk having ashes blow back onto them when the urn is opened.
Above all else, remember that giving a eulogy at an ash-scattering ceremony should feel like a celebration of life. Allow yourself to speak from the heart and express any emotions you feel in a healthy and respectful way. This can be a powerful and healing experience for everyone who is present.
Remember that you are not alone in your grief. Everyone present is feeling similar emotions, and grieving together can be a powerful shared experience of healing and comfort.
You may be concerned about becoming overwhelmed with emotion while you are speaking. Be sure to practice self-care before and after the ceremony. Honor your emotions by taking time for yourself, talking to friends or family members about your loss, or participating in activities that bring you joy. By allowing yourself to grieve in whatever way best suits your needs, you can begin to move through the process with greater understanding and acceptance.
By following these tips for giving a eulogy at an ash-spreading ceremony, you can honor the memory of your loved one in a meaningful and respectful way.