why eulogy?

People respond to traditions differently.

My uncle died two months ago it irritated my cousin when people called for condoning. I was numb and went through the formalities mechanically when Papa died. Another cousin though found the condolence visits embarrassing and time devouring he suddenly recalls incidents and talks about them.

The tradition of eulogy during condolences or funeral are supposed to be as the Greeks put it “praise the dead, inspire or instruct the living.” There is something comforting when people evoke memory of the dead in a way that it consoles the living.

People share anecdotes, or the moment the dead touched their lives to change it irreversibly in most cases for the good.

It is as though the dead is revived. The choke emerges and a sob is eased. A hand on the shoulder, which assures affection for the person dead, who they loved and admired it is now transferred to you.

It also reminds you the onus of having to honor that legacy. The essential purpose I think of these funerals, eulogies, and condolences are to let the living know that their grief is shared honored and eased.


2 Replies to “why eulogy?”

  1. Thats what I thought, infact I thought condolences and courtesy visits were an Indian thing, but my brother in states who never bothered with this formalities until my dad died says that he had colleagues from across ethnic origins who came to condone, and then shared their personal losses, he says it was so reassuring.

  2. literally condolence means “suffering-together”. Its upto the individual. Some ppl need their space in grief, some like company.

    But u know in today’s fast paced life…ppl like to move on with life…or simply are forced to move on with life coz of various responsibilities…Prolonged condolences are something antique.

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