The relationship between fathers and their children can get complicated. When fathers die, all the feelings that a child ever felt come rushing to forefront. The funeral can be a ceremony that allows a child to relive fond memories and express the feelings of loss. A eulogy for an estranged father, however, may bring up feelings of frustration, confusion, anger and fear. There are ways, however, for a child to eulogise an almost estranged father.
Admit the nature of the relationship. It's good to come to terms with the relationship with the father. Denial may serve as a barrier from getting to the feelings that will make the eulogy genuine. It may be a good idea to share feelings of regret about the relationship in the eulogy. If this can be done without placing blame, all funeral attendants should feel comfortable with the disclosure.
Talk with the father's friends. Often friends have insight on people that their families never had. Find the father's close friends and ask them questions about the father. "What was he like?" "How did he feel about his family?" "What do you think he would do if he had more time?" Incorporate comments of friends into the eulogy. It may also be helpful to incorporate feelings of surprise at the responses that friends give to questions about the father. Ultimately, the goal is to be as genuine as possible about anything that is said in a eulogy.
Ask siblings for advice. In the event there are other siblings from previous relationships or siblings that are already familiar, find out their thoughts on a eulogy. Whether their thoughts are positive and negative, there is more information to add to this growing eulogy. It is important when discussing the feelings of others to present them as a story teller would and not as personal feeling. This adds dimensions to the eulogy and paints the father as a person who affected other people in a variety of ways.
Write an outline for the eulogy. There should at least be three points of discussion to add to the outline. Fill in comments that are noteworthy related to the father's friends, siblings thoughts and own personal feelings about the father. Add any additional comments to the outline, but try not to write the eulogy word for word. If there is hesitation, stumbling or tears, let all those things happen. Remember the eulogy should remain genuine. Hopefully, it will be a first step in closer.
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