Last words for difficult people

Speaking with integrity, respect and courage

Make your tribute to a difficult person a reflection of your character, not theirs. Be: Respectful Truthful Upbeat

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Make your tribute to a difficult person a reflection of your character, not theirs. Be: Respectful Truthful Upbeat

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How to write a eulogy for difficult people

It’s never easy saying goodbye, especially if your relationship with your newly departed was tense or stormy. But with these tips, you can write a eulogy that will do them justice and show your best self.

How to write a eulogy for difficult people

Key points

  • Make a list of the stand-out positive moments you shared; recall the times they made you smile or laugh
  • Start by writing the beginning and closing paragraph for your eulogy (Visit our popular blog for beginning and end examples.)
  • Choose one or two stand-out moments from your list and draw on these to write the body of your speech. Doing this ensures your tribute remains respectful and upbeat
  • Aim to write 500 words in total. That’s about four minutes of speaking time
  • View your eulogy as the beginning of forgiveness and healing

Why giving a eulogy is not the time for revenge

So you’ve had a difficult relationship with someone close to you, and now they’ve died. What’s more, it feels like that person is still pressuring you from the grave because now you’re responsible for writing their eulogy. You’re angry and hurt by a lifetime of misgivings.

Even though you know that ‘letting go’ is probably the healthiest move, writing their eulogy seems like the perfect time for revenge, right?

Revenge might be sweet, but it’s fleeting

Many of us believe that exacting revenge is a form of emotional release and that getting retribution will make us feel better. After all, movies and books portray revenge as a sweet victory that rights all wrongs against the hero.

So is it a good idea to release all your pent up anger and hurt in a eulogy?

The fact is, research shows revenge usually has the exact opposite effect.

While revenge may provide a lift, the positive effects appear to be fleeting, according to new research by David Chester, a Virginia Commonwealth University assistant professor. (David studies the psychological and biological processes involved in human aggression.)

“Revenge can feel really good in the moment,” says Chester, “but when we follow up with people five minutes, 10 minutes and 45 minutes later, they actually report feeling worse than they did before they sought revenge.”

Think of it this way, a few minutes of sweet revenge by naming and shaming in the eulogy you’re writing is likely to give way to a lifetime of guilt, shame or remorse for displaying your worst self.

As Martin Luther King Jr., once said, “The old law of ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind.”  Similarly, Confucious said, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

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Forgiveness

Forgiveness is turning the other cheek

When it comes to delivering a eulogy for a difficult loved one, turning the other cheek is best. Focus on one or two positives that truthfully characterise your relationship with them. Keep your tribute upbeat. Make reading the eulogy a show of your character, poise and strength in difficult times. Chances are those listening know the deceased well, so they’ll read between the lines to appreciate your courage and discretion.

What is a coffin confessor?

While research shows vengeance doesn’t pay in the long run, it seems the newly dead now have the means to exact revenge on the living in eulogy of their own.

A fascinating story run by Abc.net.au featured Bill Edgar – a coffin confessor from Brisbane Australia.

Bill Edgar’s business pitch is that he has “no respect for the living.” Instead, his loyalty is to the newly departed clients who hire him.

Mr Edgar runs a business which, for $10,000, he is engaged by people ‘knocking at death’s door’ to gatecrash their funerals or gravesites and reveal all the secrets they’ve kept hidden.

Is this sweet revenge for the dead; one last twist of the knife? The irony is that the dead will never know. But for the living, those final revelations must leave everyone reeling.

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Looking for a cremation urn?

With new manufacturing and printing technology, cremation urn design has leapt into the twenty-first century. Memorialise your departed loved one in style.

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Stunning modern designs

Beautiful modern urn designs to help you celebrate your departed loved one by placing their urn in pride of place at home.

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Heavenly birds

With so many gorgeous urn prints, it's easy to find the perfect design to celebrate your departed loved one’s personality.

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Reaching for the stars

A kind soul deserves a beautiful tribute with this cosmic urn design. May they reach the stars and ascend to heavenly heights.

Eulogy for Life White Tree

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