My husband’s memorial is in three days, and I am only now knuckling down to write up my comments. (Yes, I do have to write out what I will say. I have only once ever given a talk based only on notes, and I have given many talks. I’m good at writing the way I speak.)
It is not easy. First, it has to be about him, not about me. I have been writing memoir quite a bit lately, which is ultimately about me. It’s hard to shift the focus. Second, I know there are stories he used to tell, about his growing up, his family, his various workplaces, and I used to think, I should write these down — but I never did. My memory is not that good. He remembered stories about my life that I’d forgotten. Now his memories are gone. But I'm trying not to think about what's gone, just what I do remember.
Third, our daughter is going to speak at the memorial, so I have to make sure I don’t steal any of her material, or say anything that might embarrass her. So we’re e-mailing back and forth.
Fourth, fact-checking. Did the friend I think recommended a job really do it, or was it someone else? (E-mai
Fifth, his oldest friend and his younger brother cannot come to the memorial from their homes in Colorado and Kansas. So they wrote reminiscences and sent them to me. The friend needed an editorial discussion to encourage him to write more, while the brother needed a heavy editorial hand to cut down what he’d sent. (These will be read by a friend and my younger brother, respectively. So I have to send the finished products off to them as well.)
So that’s been my day so far. Still working away.