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Old 04-27-2014, 10:57 PM   #1
wallawallakids
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Crazy question...

Does anyone have any tricks for stopping themselves from crying?

My grandmother passed away yesterday and I have been asked to write and read the eulogy. My husband really thinks that what I wrote is great and he is supporting me and telling me to do it, but the issue is that I can't seem to read it without crying. I am so nervous that I am going to make a mess of myself up there. I am not a great public speaker to begin with and this emotional aspect just makes it so much worse! I have thought about declining but I was very close to my grandmother and I don't want to regret not honoring her by speaking. Ugh. I will really miss her and I want her to know what she meant to me.

So…that is my crazy question…is there a trick. Can I somehow learn to hold it together so I at least get through my 5 min up there?! Or should I admit I can't and not even try? Thanks.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:07 PM   #2
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Those red and white star bright mints. Try them - I have found they can work wonders. Something about the mint I think...
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:46 PM   #3
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You MUST do it!

To stop yourself from crying or from even getting teary, and I know this sounds terrible but it works, is to simply detach yourself from what you are reading. Literally just READ IT without thinking about the words. That will help you get through it. But if you want to still have emotional attachment while you're presenting the eulogy, which I understand, you can pinch really hard on the skin between your pointer finger and thumb. Helps tears not fall for some crazy reason.

OP, it's okay to cry! If you feel so much love for your departed grandmother I think it would be beautiful for a few tears to drop to really illustrate how much she meant to you, and I know the audience at the service will feel the same.

Best of luck and hugs.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallawallakids View Post
Does anyone have any tricks for stopping themselves from crying?

My grandmother passed away yesterday and I have been asked to write and read the eulogy. My husband really thinks that what I wrote is great and he is supporting me and telling me to do it, but the issue is that I can't seem to read it without crying. I am so nervous that I am going to make a mess of myself up there. I am not a great public speaker to begin with and this emotional aspect just makes it so much worse! I have thought about declining but I was very close to my grandmother and I don't want to regret not honoring her by speaking. Ugh. I will really miss her and I want her to know what she meant to me.

So…that is my crazy question…is there a trick. Can I somehow learn to hold it together so I at least get through my 5 min up there?! Or should I admit I can't and not even try? Thanks.
First off, I'm so sorry for your loss. Second off, I would cry if that's what you feel like you need to do. You may surprise yourself thought and once you get up there and start reading, you may feel you are able to get through it without crying but if you need to, don't be ashamed to. You are allowed to feel the pain of loss just like everyone else who is there.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:14 AM   #5
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I'm so sorry for your loss!

I wrote and read an eulogy for my grandfather's funeral.

Even though I'd spoken in front of & performed in front of crowds before, I was very nervous & very worried I was going to start crying.

The pastor who was speaking the message for the funeral service saw me sitting kind of by myself before the service started. He came over to me and told me had also spoken at his grandfather's funeral. He said, "I know you're nervous, Wendy, but I also know you can do this. Your grandfather would be very proud." He also said, like another poster mentioned, that you just have to sort of "detach" yourself and play a "role".

It helps to practice several times - be so familiar w/ the words you've written that you can almost read it subconsciously. However, at the same time, let yourself soak up the beauty of the words & the beauty of the memories.

Put yourself in the role of the speaker for the family. Like our pastor said, you are playing a role. Let the beauty of your grandmother come through in your words - communicate her life to the audience. Instead of being sad, be proud of your grandmother's life. She lived a life, & you're the one that gets to tell others about that life.

Let your mind wander before you speak - but don't let it wander to sad things or memories of your grandmother. Count the hymnals in the pew racks or ponder other aimless things - but don't really concentrate on the music or other specifics related to the funeral. Instead of worrying about crying, turn your worry elsewhere - "Is my skirt straight?" "What if I trip?"

Before you start, take a deep, cleansing breath. As you are speaking, don't make specific eye contact with any of the immediate family members. This was for my mother's father, so I didn't look at either my mom or my uncle. I kinda focused more toward the center of the room. If I looked at anyone, I looked at my DH.

And I did it. I was very calm, & I didn't cry. My voice got shaky a couple of times, especially at the beginning, but I think I did okay.

After the service, one aunt said to me that they really hadn't even needed the pastor's message after I spoke because what I had written had summed up my grandfather & his life so perfectly. Some other distant relatives came to me & thanked me & told me that they had lost touch w/ my grandfather after he had moved his family away & that my words had helped them "reconnect".

So I was very, very glad that I spoke at my grandfather's funeral. It is a special honor, and I know you'll be happy that you spoke at your grandmother's funeral too.

My prayers & thoughts are with you...
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:09 AM   #6
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Would your husband or someone else be willing to step in and finish reading for you if you start and feel you can't continue? Maybe knowing you have an understudy would help the anxiety.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:14 AM   #7
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Thank you so much for your help. It is nice to know I am not alone in what I am feeling. I think I will practice reading it several times before Friday and see if I can detach myself a bit from the story. I might ask DH to be my back up, in case I get up there and can't finish it.

Thank you again for your thoughts as well for my grandmother. I am trying to focus on the fact that she is no longer in pain and even though we miss her, she is in a better place.

Thank you again for the help. I appreciate it.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:19 AM   #8
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I read the eulogy at my granny's memorial. I found it best to stare at a spot on the back wall without looking at anyone.
I made it to the end without crying but the microphone was shaking all over the place.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by wrestlingchick26 View Post
I read the eulogy at my granny's memorial. I found it best to stare at a spot on the back wall without looking at anyone.
I made it to the end without crying but the microphone was shaking all over the place.


If you feel like your going to cry stop second breath in center your self, breath out.
Plus telling yourself over and over again that you can do this will help.

plus dont you want to share something nice about your love one? how are you going to do that if you are a wreak crying?
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:47 AM   #10
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So sorry for your loss unfortunately I had the honor to speak at my sister, my dad and my grandmother's funeral. I say honor because it was an honor to have the opportunity to speak about their life accomplishments, character, how much they were loved and how much they will be missed. I told a funny story at each one and it was a release to fill laughter at such a sad time. Honestly I think I got all the crying out the days prior but I do have a trick that helps me. I pinch myself as I speak to pin point a little bit of pain and my brain seems to be distracted by this and helps me focus without crying. I usually hold my hands together and press my thumb nail in my other palm or use 2 nails to pinch the inside of my other hand. I only do this when I'm speaking and need to hold tears back and it seems to get me through that moment. Good luck, I know your grandmother will be proud of you. Sending prayers to you and your family.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:15 AM   #11
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I am so sorry for you loss. But you can do it. I read at my mother's funeral. Of course I hadn't planned on it, it just happened. We arrived at the church and in the parking lot the priest stopped me and told me that I was going to do the first reading. Of course I gave him the deer in the headlights look and he told me that you can do it. Sure enough I was able to make it through the reading. I looked at my dad before I started reading and he just gave me a nod and I was fine.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:20 AM   #12
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I find that really concentrating on my breathing makes a difference.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:58 AM   #13
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I'm so sorry for your loss.

I wrote one for my father and no way no how could I have read it. The pastor asked if I'd let him read it and I gratefully accepted his offer.

Will the officiant or even someone else read it for you?
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:08 PM   #14
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I have slept on it for a while and I don't really feel any better about it. I talked to my grandfather about this yesterday. He loved what I wrote and it had him in tears so I obviously cannot ask him to read it. A cousin of mine has offered to do it for me though and I think I am going to take him up on the offer. My grandfather asked if I could read a scripture if I chose to not do the eulogy and I do think that I could handle that. I feel it is more of a detachment thing for me. I was the only one present besides my grandmother in the story I wrote so it has personal meaning to me. My grandfather didn't even know what I wrote happened and he was very happy that I shared it with him. It really showed what kind of person she was. I feel like this may be a good compromise. It lets me get the tribute that I want to give her out there, but without me sobbing though it. I want people to hear the message and not just see me a mess about it. I am also worried about how my children would react to me crying up there. I think that would upset them further and I don't want that. I have been working hard at home to put this in a more positive light for them. Saying to them: Yes, we will miss her more then anything but she is happy now, at peace, and with God. I want them to remember the good in this and not the bad.

Thank you so much for your help and suggestions and helping me realize how important this. I still plan on using a lot of these suggestions for my scripture readings as I will still be nervous.

Thank you for the sympathy and well wishes. I appreciate it.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by crazydaisy00 View Post
So sorry for your loss unfortunately I had the honor to speak at my sister, my dad and my grandmother's funeral. I say honor because it was an honor to have the opportunity to speak about their life accomplishments, character, how much they were loved and how much they will be missed. I told a funny story at each one and it was a release to fill laughter at such a sad time. Honestly I think I got all the crying out the days prior but I do have a trick that helps me. I pinch myself as I speak to pin point a little bit of pain and my brain seems to be distracted by this and helps me focus without crying. I usually hold my hands together and press my thumb nail in my other palm or use 2 nails to pinch the inside of my other hand. I only do this when I'm speaking and need to hold tears back and it seems to get me through that moment. Good luck, I know your grandmother will be proud of you. Sending prayers to you and your family.


OP, I am so sorry for your loss.

I also spoke at countless funerals in the past 12 years, for both parents, my aunts and 2 grandparents. I agree with crazydaisy to add some humor to the speech, it will calm you and the mourners. Speak of her life and the great things she did for you that made you smile.

I always saw the speech as an honor, also. It's your turn to tell everyone who she was from your point of view. When we buried my aunt I told everyone that she was more than an aunt, she was my sister. It told everyone who she was TO ME.

Good luck and bless you, I know you will do well.
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