carolyn hax

Carolyn Hax: Looking ahead to difficult eulogy for Mom

 

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: I’ve debated asking you this question for years, but it has never seemed to be a serious enough problem.

I’m a middle-aged gay man, one of two sons raised by a widow with physical (and mental, I suspect) health issues that filled her with rage, which persists to this day, though she does function better. Or maybe I’m more inured to it, I’m not sure.

Anyway, two close friends of mine lost incredibly loving parents recently, and that has gotten me to thinking about what I could possibly say about mine in a eulogy. I’m not sure my brother would even attend the funeral, and her current husband is almost certain to go first.

Somehow I’ve turned out semi-sane, and I’m sure I could cobble together a few vague sentences about how she did her best for me and I will always be grateful. That’s actually true as far as it goes, but I feel a lot of other emotions that would not be appropriate to express. This is a comparatively low-intensity problem, but I’d welcome any insights.

What to Say?

A mother with rage issues is about as serious as it gets, no? But I get what you’re saying — it’s mostly behind you, you “turned out semi-sane.” Surely what you’re after is a way to reconcile your conflicted feelings about her, especially as you watch your close friends grieve in a pure way that you know you never can. So why don’t you really try writing a eulogy for her? Write it not for an audience but as an exercise in exorcising — though, who knows, you might find enough beauty in it to say it out loud.

That is, if you want to; you certainly have every right to decline to eulogize her.

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com or follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/carolyn.hax.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  • The Edgy Veggie

    Edgy Veggie: Eggless ‘Egg Salad’

    This must be the egg industry’s favorite time of the year. There’s Easter eggs, egg-rich Easter cakes and cookies, Easter brunch omelets, casseroles and eggs Benedict (eggs atop English muffins and in the Hollandaise sauce). Eggs also play a big part at Passover. They’re on the Seder plate and in matzo balls, kugels and Passover desserts. Eggs, though, aren’t all they’re cracked up to be for cholesterol avoiders, allergic folk (eggs are among the top eight food allergens) and vegans. Plant-powered egg alternatives mean we still get a place at the holiday table.

  • Cook’s Corner

    Cook’s Corner: Behold the new colors of Easter eggs

    Radiant Orchid, Pantone Color Institute’s color of the year, not only is the hot spring fashion color, but it has made its way into the Easter egg parade. Forget the pastels of yesteryear; what’s trending now are vivid colors. McCormick developed these formulas for making vibrant dyes.

  •  
Linda Bladholm

    A Fork on the Road

    A Fork on the Road: Choices Cafe gives vegans plenty of flavor

    In a sign of the times, a small vegan café has opened a larger outpost, offering meatless burgers, wraps, soups and salads. Choices Cafe doubles as a juice bar with cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and innovative smoothies such as the Miami Heat with mango, jalapeño, lime, plantain, ground flax and chia seeds and agave.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category