Our Tip of the Week: Often the most poignant moments of a memorial service happen when eulogies are delivered or songs or poems honoring the dead are performed by loved ones. As difficult as delivering a eulogy can be, it’s also often a positive, cathartic experience. There’s a lot of therapeutic potential in the process of writing or making music, and having the opportunity to publicly pay tribute to someone who has passed can help you begin to move through the thick mud of grief. Usually, eulogies or songs are delivered by a select few individuals, but you may choose to open the floor up to the rest of the mourners by including an “open mic” portion in the service or at the reception after the service.
How-to Suggestion: The open mic tribute can replace standard eulogies or may be included as an additional portion of the service, perhaps after the standard eulogies are delivered. If you are planning a post-funeral reception, you may decide to reserve the open mic for the reception setting. If you’re concerned about mourners remaining attentive during the open mic, you may want to set a time limit of 30 to 45 minutes, encouraging everyone to try and limit their time on the mic to a couple of minutes to ensure that everyone who wants to has the opportunity to share. By opening up the floor to all of those who have come to pay their respects, everyone gathered has the chance to participate in the collective processing of the person’s passing and to hear stories, insights and share moments of humor that would have otherwise been missed.