You might consider adapting these tips and giving the list to families when they make arrangements.  This list might help some of your clients cope with speaking at their loved one’s funeral and help make your clients see you as a valuable resource.

Here’s the list, as written by Anna at Widow’s Quest:

  1. I concentrated on seeing this as speaking on his behalf, this was not about me or my nerves this   was about speaking on behalf of my loved one. This gave me the strength to do it…I wanted to”do him proud”
  2. I wrote the speech straight from the heart, I thought about what he would want me to say and wrote it as if we were speaking about it. I didn’t over edit it, I just let the words flow.
  3. I printed it out in VERY BIG PRINT...sounds silly but if you have tears in your eyes, or your hands start to shake…then it is easier to read.
  4. When I first stood up…I focused on a friend who I knew would smile and comfort me…I almost spoke the words to her…
  5. I understood that this was emotional and that each person listening would know how hard it was for me to speak….I didn’t fear getting emotional and actually that ensured that I kept myself together. There is something in knowing that you can, that stops you from breaking down.
  6. I had asked my cousin to take over if I did fail – therefore I had a back up plan just in case.
  7. Speak slowly …and take 3-4 large breaths before you stand up.
  8. Don’t make the speech too long….and also celebrate the life as well as acknowledging the loss.
  9. I practised speaking out loud many times the night before…that way I almost knew it by heart and knew that I would not stutter.
  10. I spoke early at the funeral, this allowed me to concentrate on delivering a worthy speech and then allowed me to become emotional and grieve during the rest of the time.
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