A eulogy is different from an obituary. An obit is factual and in printed or electronic form; a eulogy is delivered in person at a funeral or memorial service, usually with praise about the deceased, with some creative flair. Since I am uncomfortable at praising myself for 20 minutes (is that how long a eulogy should be?), I will proceed with praising others who have made my life worth eulogizing.
If I cannot be at my own funeral in spirit, at least I can be there in film. In a culture where people record the most inane of events on YouTube, pre-taping the great goodbye is not too far-fetched:
“I love you. I love that you came to say goodbye to me. I love you for being among many of the people I have loved and laughed with. I especially love you, Tim, and you, Sam, Maggie and Emma. Besides my Savior Jesus, you are the center of my life. You were amazing children to raise--I am including you, Tim! ;)--you have each made me proud. Each day with you was a gift, and even now I am chuckling about all of our private jokes and laughter over movies, Dad’s quirky songs, Apples to Apples, and all of life’s craziness. Keep laughing and be kind to one another. Those are God’s medicine for a world prone to sadness. Tim, you really are the kindest and best of men--yes, that is a Jane Austen quote. I cannot leave this life without at least one or two.
To my sisters, thank you for being such good friends along my journey, even when we could not stand one another way back when. Thank you, Ann, for sharing your love of good food and wine and museums. Thank you, Lois, for being so darn cheeky and fun. And by the way, neither of you can steal my I.D. to enter the pearly gates. For my brother Des, I forgive you for giving me a bloody nose a couple of times when we were little. I probably deserved it.
Kate, my dear mother, all that tea you made me probably killed me. Just kidding. I really don’t know what caused my death, but I know it wasn’t you. I think. Just kidding, again, Mom! I love you, and love to tease you. You mean the world to me, as does the rest of our extended family. I am so thankful that God placed me in the midst of a large, fun Irish family--I won’t ever forget the many Curran kindnesses shown to my family and me.
Hello, friends! Chris, you were my inspiration for hospitality and intercessory prayer. Rhonda, you are my soul sister. Debbie, you taught me much about worship music. Judy, Joan, Robin, Mo and Shell: graciousness personified. Sharon, you taught me to laugh at myself and exemplify servanthood. Sandy, thank you for taking the time to mentor a young believer. I can’t mention each one of you; I wish I could. But we would be here all day, and this is really supposed to be about me, not you.
To my in-laws, thank you for your love and for the amazing son you raised. I can never repay you for your love and generosity to our children, your grandchildren.
Gordon-Conwell people, you are so dear to me and in my thoughts and prayers. At least I think you are. I could be really busy talking to Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Martin Luther and C.S. Lewis, and my grandmothers right now. And then my father and I have an appointment to read the Wall Street Journal cover to cover after praising God for a millennium or two.
But lastly--and yes, Tim, I will have the last word--I really hope and pray that each of you--especially my children--will remember something I told you or showed you about God. I hope I did. If not, what a waste. Not that time spent with you was a waste, but I wasted precious time if I did not love you more and myself less. If I had, I would have made sure you knew that Jesus saved me from death and from myself, and how much I want you to know His love and saving grace.
Some of you have told me my laughter is infectious. Or annoying. You know who you are. Well, so is God’s love. Infectious, I mean--not annoying! I pray I shared both love and laughter.”