Another tip on speaking at a funeral if you’re really, really nervous
Apparently people fear public speaking even more than death (???) or at least that’s what I’ve read and been told countless times. What about when you combine the two?
Losing a parent is tough enough. Planning the funeral within a few days is tough enough. Being at the funeral and trying to keep it all together is tough enough. Getting up and speaking at that funeral, particularly when it is for your own parent, can be just a step too far for a lot of people.
Check out this blog about giving a funeral speech (particularly if you’re worried about how not to cry and also about what to say) but I’ve had people in touch who say it’s still just too terrifying to get up. The problem is it isn’t just the upset of getting up, but the fear of getting up and speaking in front of a group.
A funeral is a beautiful opportunity to share some thoughts and memories and say your goodbyes, particularly if you didn’t get the chance. Doing this can be so freeing and healing and also you have things to share that only you can share. You might have a story or comment that will really touch other people there.
So here’s another tip. If you are really, really nervous about getting up why not take someone with you? This isn’t a public speaking competition. You aren’t on stage giving a presentation. You aren’t in a business presentation trying to sell something. You’re just trying to stand up and share some of the love you have for your mum or dad with them and the people there.
There aren’t any rules about who can get up and say what so there is no reason why, to make you more comfortable, you can’t have a friend, partner, spouse, or family member stand up with you. They could even hold your hand if you wanted. If this is what it takes for you to be ok up there then why not do it? There is nothing embarrassing or weak about this. Majority of people at the funeral would have things they would love to share but are too nervous to get up and say. And everyone needs their hand held from time to time.
And if even this is not an option for you but you still have something you’d love to share then have someone else read it. I’ve had funeral speeches read out for me because I have been overseas. You’d be surprised who will agree to read something out for you if you really feel you can’t.
So take a support person up, a pocketful of tissues, and speak from your heart. You’ll be glad you did it.