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How to Write a Eulogy… For Yourself

LL: I encourage writing your own eulogy as a way to measure how you’re living your life. You can actually google “how to write a eulogy.” Give yourself some time and some space and allow for at least 45 minutes. I did write my own eulogy recently. What I found and what the participants have echoed is that it is a great way to see if we are “on track” for the things that we want to accomplish in our lives. I have been in service for most of my life with my family and in my profession. What I found with writing my eulogy was that I am not dancing enough, or singing enough or playing enough with my friends.

I do feel happy about the care I have provided to people on their deathbeds and the families that I have served as well. But as I contemplate dying at the age of 41 I can see the spaces in my life that I would like to fill with more fun! So, this exercise is great for identifying: am I doing what I want to be doing, am I exemplifying the qualities in life that I value, am I sharing myself fully and authentically, am I spending time in ways that fulfill me or deplete me? I can see it now more clearly and now that I am aware of it, I can take responsibility for creating more of what I want in my life.

CW: Natalie found it easier to love herself and appreciate herself by writing her own eulogy. It sounds like a powerful exercise! How can we incorporate this into our daily lives?

LL: Writing your eulogy gives you a unique opportunity to think about what people might say about you, about the type of person you were, how you impacted the lives of those around you. This can be very provocative approach to looking at yourself from someone else’s point of view. You may realize that you would like people to say certain things about you but that you have not chosen to express yourself in a way that would encourage that. Or you may actually find yourself creating a beautiful list of affirmations about who you are and what you have created in your life thus far. This unique exercise allows you to consider yourself from someone else’s perspective. If you like what you come up with then it could be a very grounding spiritual practice to acknowledge those parts of yourself regularly.

Make a list of qualities and post them next to your mirror with the words I AM at the top of the list. This kind of practice encourages more of the same to come forward. If you want to take it to the next level, look at yourself in the eyes while you read over your love list. This is a simple practice, but it can create a great deal of self-love, self care, and self respect. And as you learn to regard yourself in a more positive light, you will start to regard others that way as well. In return, people will actually start to see you the way you are seeing and feeling yourself. Try it!

Try writing a eulogy for yourself, and stay tuned for Part 2 of Laurel’s interview on her “Death and Dying Dinners”.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well so you don’t miss a minute of Iman and Natalie’s journey on 30 DAYS OF INTENT!

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7:10PM PST on Dec 19, 2012


8:30PM PST on Dec 4, 2012

I had this exercise recently with my husband, but his obituary was published after he succumbed to cancer. now i have a greater appreciation for waking up in the morning.

5:29PM PST on Dec 4, 2012

I am an organ donor and I also plan on donating my body to medical science. There won't be a funeral because my relatives and I are not close. If they did not spend time with me in life, I do not want them at my funeral.

9:21AM PST on Dec 4, 2012

I'm a former journalist, so I've long had in mind to write my own obit -- seeing the cringeworthy articles that came in from the relatives after the person's death -- but I've never thought of it from this POV. Thanks!

9:29AM PST on Dec 3, 2012

Writing your own eulogy may actually be a helpful exercise for making people aware of just how fragile life is, how short the time really is, and how much more they may want to accomplish before the inevitable end. Have you gotten done that which you most want to do? The clock is ticking. Time is running out. Hit that bucket list hard. Do what you can for the world. Most importantly, make sure that the people you love really do know that you love them. Quit wasting time. Live.

7:19AM PST on Dec 3, 2012

Dana W.- That's not too controlling, hon. You can specify whatever you wish.

6:01AM PST on Dec 3, 2012

I don't think it's too controlling at all Dana! You're life, why can't YOU choose how you wish to be "sent off " as we say?!

1:53AM PST on Dec 3, 2012

Thanks...guess that's better than buying your coffin and keeping it in the basement!

11:23PM PST on Dec 2, 2012

I'd rather write one for the Republican Party...

8:03PM PST on Dec 2, 2012

I often think of writing my ulogy. No one knows you better than yourself.
Thanks, bev

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