A eulogy is a speech of remembrance typically given at a funeral or memorial service to pay tribute to someone who has died.
Writing a successful eulogy can be challenging but also enriching, providing a moment to reflect meaningfully on the life and legacy of a beloved family member, friend, or colleague. Drawing on stories and memories, accomplishments, lessons learned, or favorite quotes, the eulogy is an expression of why this person was important and how they’ll be remembered now that they’re gone.
Writing and delivering a eulogy, like writing an obituary, can be challenging. You’ve just lost someone, a dear friend or family member — now you must quickly gather your thoughts, write a speech, and deliver it to a roomful of people. For those not accustomed to writing and giving speeches, there is the additional difficulty of performing a task that is unfamiliar. Or perhaps you are used to giving speeches but didn’t know the deceased well and aren’t sure what to say.
This step-by-step guide has everything you need to know about how to write a eulogy, including how long the eulogy should be, how to research and gather information before you write, what to include in the eulogy, and how to edit and revise your speech. Use this eulogy writing guide to help you craft and deliver a special eulogy that pays tribute to the life and legacy of someone important to you.
How Long is a Eulogy?
A eulogy is usually between 5 and 10 minutes long. As you write your eulogy, aim for about 750-1500 written words (or 1-2 typed pages, single-spaced) — this should be about 5-10 minutes when spoken. Plan to spend at least an hour or two writing and editing the eulogy, plus time to practice speaking. Also set aside additional time for reaching out to family or friends to collect anecdotes or other details to include in the eulogy, as well as gathering your own thoughts.
What to Include in a Eulogy?
A eulogy can include anecdotes, accomplishments, favorite quotes — any details that help paint a picture of the personality of the deceased. The eulogy you write might include:
- A brief recounting of their life story
- Insights into their relationships with family and close friends (“He was the best dad a kid could have” “She and her granddaughter were thick as thieves”)
- Career milestones and accomplishments (“She was the first in her family to graduate from college” “He was proud of his work with homeless vets”)
- Achievements related to personal goals, interests, or hobbies (“She was determined not just to run a marathon but to win” “He spent countless hours on his boat, sailing with his trusty first mate — his grandson”)
- Your favorite memories (“I remember the road trip to Kentucky with my grandparents — my grandmother was the navigator which meant she spent most of the drive yelling, ‘You’re going the wrong way!’”)
- Favorite quotes, poems, songs, proverbs and/or religious writings
- Their own words — a catchphrase or mantra, perhaps, or a poem or song they wrote
Keep your audience in mind: most eulogies will be delivered to people of all ages and backgrounds. Any stories, jokes, songs, quotes should be appropriate for a diverse, family audience.
Remember that a eulogy is a tribute, an expression of love, not a “fair and balanced” accounting of a life. A eulogy should highlight a person’s positive qualities — not focus on the negative or try to set the record straight.
Of course, we all have flaws. No one is perfect and it’s OK for eulogies to reflect that. If a defining characteristic of your grandmother was that she was always complaining, feel free to include that in her eulogy (especially if you can temper with something more positive, like “behind the gruff exterior was a woman who loved her family with all her heart.”)
Writing the Eulogy
1. Gather Memories
Start by reminiscing about the person you are eulogizing. Think about what made them unique or defined them as a person. These can be big personality traits or small quirky details:
- Did he have a clever catchphrase? Mix a mean martini?
- Was she passionate about opera? Did she have a special love for lizards?
- Was he the life of the party? Or did he prefer to be by himself in the woods?
- Did she persevere to overcome obstacles in her life?
Also think about your relationship with this person:
- When did you first meet him?
- What will you miss most about her?
- What is your favorite memory of him?
- How did she change your life for the better?
As you reminisce, jot down anything that comes to mind.
Next, reach out to other family members, friends, and/or colleagues and ask them to share their memories. They can help to fill in gaps in your memory, confirm key details, or offer a fresh perspective on the life of the deceased. Together, these shared memories will shape your tribute.
2. Organize Your Thoughts
Look through your notes and start to group the stories and remembrances you’ve collected. You may begin to see a common thread. Maybe everyone you spoke with recalled her biting sense of humor or mentioned his enthusiastic cheering at basketball games.
Maybe many stories shared are about how she always got the last word, or how he quietly helped behind the scenes. Whatever the common thread, it can be the theme that ties your eulogy together:
- “Kathy was always the funniest person in the room”
- “Zach was always there for his family — yelling loudly from the stands”
- “Doris never met a stranger”
- “What makes a loyal friend? Just ask those fortunate enough to be friends with Bob.”
- “Margaret was the bravest woman I’ve ever known”
If a theme doesn’t stand out, try asking a question. Pose a general question about the person (like “Who was Ozell Hinkle?” or “What did I learn from my grandmother?”) and use the details you’ve gathered to answer it. This can help give structure to your speech.
Remember, while it’s good to get input from others, you don’t need to include every detail and story shared with you. Highlight what you feel is most important to honor the deceased.
Also, there’s no need to make a profound statement about life and death. Your listeners want to hear a loving tribute to someone who was important to them. So, focus on the life and legacy of the deceased and what they meant to you.
3. Write a Draft
Now that you’ve gathered and organized, it’s time to weave these pieces together to create a narrative about this person.
The eulogy is a speech, so write as you would speak. Don’t try to be too formal, and don’t worry about grammar or spelling.
In this first draft, don’t hold back; let it all come out. Just get your thoughts down on paper.
Once you’ve written all you want to say, set the eulogy aside for a little while. It’s a good idea to take a break before you begin editing so you can look at what you’ve written with fresh eyes.
4. Review and Edit
Read your eulogy. Again, don’t worry about grammar or spelling. Does the eulogy make sense? Will listeners understand what you’re trying to say? Does it capture the spirit of your loved one?
Have you said enough? Add any other important details that are missing. Consider including a meaningful quote or poem. Make sure what you want people to know about this person comes through clearly. For example, if you really want people to appreciate what a loving father he was, include examples of the ways he showed his children how much he cared.
Have you said too much? Remove anything negative, confrontational, or otherwise inappropriate for a eulogy. If the eulogy long, look for places where you repeat yourself, make the same point more than once, or include a lot of detailed information. Try combining repetitive sections to reduce the length of the speech.
Take out extra details, especially if they don’t support your main point. Remember you don’t need to tell this person’s entire life story: focus on how and why they were important to you.
5. Practice Your Speech
Giving a speech is different from reading out loud what you’ve written, so it’s helpful to practice ahead of time. The better rehearsed you are, the easier it will be to deliver the speech when the time comes. You don’t have to memorize your eulogy, but you should know it well enough that you can deliver it without having to read word-for-word.
- Speak slowly and clearly. It’s also important to speak loudly so the people in the back can hear. If you have a quiet voice, ask someone to stand far away so you can practice being heard at a distance.
- Try to look up from your written speech as much as possible so you can connect with your audience and be heard more easily. Enlist a loved one to help you or practice your speech while standing at the mirror or looking out a window. This will help you focus on something that isn’t the paper you’re holding.
- Time yourself saying the eulogy out loud. If it’s longer than 15 minutes, you may want to look for ways to condense your speech. If your eulogy is fewer than 5 minutes, you may want to add more. Each time you make changes, practice saying the newest version out loud.
- Practice delivering the full and complete eulogy at least twice, or as many times as you need to feel comfortable.
- Before the funeral or memorial service, print a copy of your eulogy in large, easily readable font and staple or number them to keep them in the proper order. You may want to print an extra copy just in case. Be sure to save a copy on your computer.
Delivery the Eulogy
On the day of the funeral, come prepared with your speech, glasses (if needed), tissues, and a bottle of water.
Be kind to yourself. This may be the most difficult speech you’ll ever give. This may be your first time addressing a large group of people. You may be nervous. You will be emotional.
Let yourself cry if you need to. It’s normal to feel and show emotions, especially at a time like this. You will never have a more sympathetic audience.
Take a deep breath and take your time. Pause if you need to. Speak slowly, clearly, and loud enough to be heard by all. This is your time to say in your own words why this person mattered.
If you feel strongly that you are unable to deliver the eulogy, ask someone else ahead of time to give the speech for you. Giving a speech is challenging enough in the best of times, and some may be too overwhelmed after a loved one’s death to present the eulogy. We all react to the death of a loved one in our own way, says eulogy expert Florence Isaacs, so do what feels most comfortable.
Remember, you don’t have to be an expert orator to deliver a eulogy. People want to hear words of remembrance that connect them to other mourners and provide comfort, says Isaacs. You are there to say a few simple words about someone who was important to you and those around you.
Here are a few examples of eulogies written by real people to pay tribute to family and friends.
By Josh Kruger for his dad, delivered April 7, 2018:
“A man,” my father once told me, “needs a purpose. He needs a reason to get up in the morning.”
While my Dad’s words were often reflections of his own life experiences, sometimes, my Dad’s words were just plain funny.
“So, when you look at a man,” he once asked me after I came out as gay, “you get the same feeling that I do when I see a woman?”
“Yes,” I replied, “that’s exactly right.”
“Oh,” he paused. “Oh my.”
And with that, we perfectly understood each other.
My father was many things, but most of all he was a good man.
He taught us how to be men: to rise above challenges, to be responsible, to stand up to bullies, to protect the vulnerable, to live honestly, to reverse course when you’re wrong, to never back down when you’re right, to let your actions, not words, determine who you are.
Dad worked diligently for years to ensure that Mom would be OK even if he weren’t around anymore.
Our whole lives, Dad, being sometimes too practical just like his own father who was also named Ken, told me and Zach about that, telling us where the important information was and what we had to do if things ever got to that point.
Then, one day, suddenly and completely unexpectedly, things got to that point.
And, at that point, we were able to be with him, all day, every day, holding his hand, telling him we loved him.
Despite the traumatic circumstances for us in the end, circumstances that would smash anyone into countless emotional fragments, we came together as a family. Our hearts were breaking, but we were united in love — for Dad and each other.
And, we did everything exactly as Dad wanted.
Still, one of the hardest things we had to do as a family was let Dad go.
The day before he died, it was snowing. We drove to the peaceful place Dad spent his last days, and we again stayed with him all day. There were no loud hospital machines anymore as there were the week prior. Instead, there was a stillness. And it was the kind of place Dad would want to be at in the end.
After he died, we had a lot of work to do. Zach and I swung into action, making calls, filing paperwork, protecting Mom as best we could. Our actions, integrity, and, if I may say so, our grace during this time is a testament to the character that Dad built in us.
We had no idea the men we could be, or the men we had grown into.
He was always willing to help us, to give us second, third, fourth chances if we helped ourselves and did our part, too.
It is now clear that Dad was training us just as life, and maybe even drill sergeants, had trained him.
It is a blessing to have had such a father, a friend, a brother, a colleague, a husband.
…my father’s legacy will be one of a courageous, compassionate man with an exceptional life story, unparalleled integrity, countless friends, and a family that loved him.
I will miss him more than I have ever missed anyone or anything in my entire life. And I know I am not alone in that.
What a legacy it is to be remembered — and truly, dearly missed — by those who love you.
And, what a legacy it is to be remembered because of love.
On May 13th, I lost my mom and my very best friend. Not only that, but my kids lost their amazing grandma. She valued and treasured her family above all else, and she was there for every milestone in my life as well as my kids’ lives. Through good times and bad, she stuck by us, championing and supporting us every step of the way.
When Lauren needed surgery, my mom was by our sides at every test and doctor’s appointment. The day of the surgery, she paced back and forth in front of the gift shop, waiting impatiently for it to open, so that she could comfort Lauren with a stuffed animal and huge balloon.
When Kristen was hospitalized for two days in the 7th grade, my mom was right there with us. One of the days we were there, I remember stepping away from Kristen’s room to go grab some lunch. When I came back, I walked in on my mom lecturing the doctor, yelling things like “No one talks to Princess Kristen like that.”
When Andrew was in 3rd grade, we had some issues with a teacher. While most grandparents would refrain from getting involved in situations like this, that just wasn’t my mom. She was right there with me, standing up for her grandson.
My kids have truly been blessed with the most amazing, loving, and caring Grandma. She was, among so many other things, their protector, teacher, and biggest fan. No matter what, my mom did everything in her power to put smiles on her grandchildren’s faces and make sure that they knew just how much she loved them. We are fortunate to have so many wonderful memories of my mom.
In addition to being a devoted grandmother, my mom was also my caregiver, teacher, therapist, and best friend. Most of all, though, my mom was my hero. She was always there when I needed her most and in ways I can’t even begin to describe.
And now she’s my guardian angel. The day you took your last breath, a piece of me went with you. Goodbye mom, my angel.
You will always be loved, always be missed, and always be in my heart.
By Jessica Campbell for her grandmother Jean Breland Campbell, delivered Sept. 2, 2018:
The day I was born, there was a bad storm in Tuscaloosa. The wind damaged the roof of Granny’s house. But she never seemed to hold it against me.
Occasionally, when Granny and Granddaddy road-tripped, they took me along for the ride. We went with them to the World’s Fairs in Knoxville and New Orleans. One year, they took Carrie and me on a trip to Tennessee and Kentucky. Highlights included Opryland, Cracker Barrel (the first time we’d ever been), Mammoth Caves, Lincoln’s birthplace. But before we could get to Tennessee, we had to get out of Birmingham. I will never forget driving through downtown and north Birmingham with Granny yelling at Granddaddy “You’re going the wrong way!”
Berating Granddaddy was a constant. He would launch into a story, and she would talk over him, chiding him “You’re telling it wrong!” And then when he kept talking, she would turn to the rest of us and say, “He’s not telling it right…”
When Granddaddy died, her complaining about him subsided. Conversations instead focused on her health, Alabama football, the worldly whereabouts of assorted children and grandchildren. But in my last visit with Granny in July, she came through with one last dig at Granddaddy, declaring “If I’d listened to my husband, I’d be dead…”
She then told this story: One time many years ago, she smelled gas. She told Brooken who said “You can’t smell gas. It’s odorless.” “Well, I smell it!” she insisted. In the end Granddaddy called the gas company, they fixed the gas leak, and crisis was averted. Sometimes, there’s a fine line between persistence and belligerence. Occasionally, belligerence is justified.
When she wasn’t traveling, Granny could be found watching television or reading. She would watch just about any sport on TV. College football was a particular favorite, though she also watched plenty of basketball, tennis, the Olympics. When the Olympic Games came to Atlanta in 1996, she was there in person.
Some people travel or read or watch movies because they enjoy the journey, whether from one place to another or through a good story. Did Granny enjoy the journey? Hard to say, but having ridden in the car with her plenty of times, both when she was driving and when she wasn’t, I’m going to say no.
Whereas for Granddaddy the journey was the story, for Granny, I think it was more about the destination. Or perhaps, more accurately, the sum total of all the destinations: visiting all 50 states, watching all 100 top movies, reading so many books… Granny collected these experiences like some people collect stamps or rocks or Beanie Babies (and based on some of her papers, she may have collected those too).
The day I was born, there was a bad storm in Tuscaloosa. In 2011, another bad storm struck. This one included a mile-wide tornado that devastated Tuscaloosa, coming within yards of Granny’s house. Inside, alone in her house, Granny waited out the storm.
Granny and her house survived, though the neighborhood is still recovering. During her nearly five decades in that house, neighbors came and went. The community transformed from all white to predominantly black. But Granny stayed put in a house largely unchanged since my childhood.
Television sets cycled through. Occasionally there was a new recliner. Eventually Aunt Gale’s vanity made way for a computer desk where Granny could research family history or send a to-the-point birthday email: invariably “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” in all caps. (Granny was pretty tech-savvy for a nonagenarian, but verbose she was not.)
Granny’s house didn’t change, but she did, at least a little. She softened somewhat, especially with her great-grandchildren. Never a hugger, she would ask young Bennett and Zella “Aren’t you going to hug my neck?” She glowed as she showed off photos of Joseph. One time the perennial birthday email arrived with “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” in hot pink.
Granny was a survivor and fiercely independent, taking care of herself until nearly the end. She endured trauma and loss in her childhood, chronic pain and discomfort in her later years. And she endures in my memory, standing sentinel in her driveway in Tuscaloosa, watching us depart after our visit in July, just as she had done for my entire life.
Goodbye, Granny. I will miss you.
By Melanie Marsden:
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Uncle Jimmy is family. My earliest memories I have of him are sitting around my grandmother’s kitchen table or watching from the Eden Street park as he, Carol and the boys would visit Carol’s mom. Jimmy was a devoted husband and loving father. He was not only a great son he was a great son in-law. He was a caring brother, cousin, uncle, friend and papa. His family was his world. He loved his wife Carol, his sons Jamie and Jeff and his daughter-in-law Eveline but it would be Jonathan who would make Jimmy One Happy Papa. Jonathan lit up Jimmy’s world. He loved that little guy so much-he beamed with pride and if you are lucky enough to have met Jonathan you know why.
I’ll never forget how Jimmy was there for me when my dad Zeke died. From my high school graduation to getting my wisdom teeth out he was always there when it mattered. When I was away at Eastover, he went up to Woodbrook regularly with Carol and the boys to check in on Peachie and help out. If it weren’t for his help, I am not sure if our summer camp would still be in our family.
When his sister Betty died, the hospice nurse said to Mimi “oh you’re an only child — how sad.” And Uncle Jimmy wrapped his arm around Mimi’s shoulder and pulled her in close and said — “she has all of us.”
Jimmy was a quiet, gentle force. He was always looking out for other people. He was always happy to see you. He lit up a room when he walked into it. When he asked how you were — he really listened and cared to know. I don’t think I ever heard him say a bad word about anyone. While he was a man of few words in a crowd, when he did speak, it usually ended up with everyone busting up laughing. Jimmy Connors was a very funny guy.
Jimmy loved to cook for people. When he visited Woodbrook you could count on him to be serving up a mean breakfast. He didn’t stop there though, he was always stepping it up on the grill making something fancy. He couldn’t stop, he just liked to take care of others. He regularly attended the annual “Manly Man Weekends” in New Hampshire. Every year awards were given out on Saturday night. Though no women are allowed at the Manly Man Weekends, I’m told many of the awards were mocking and sarcastic in nature. As I understand it, one year when Jimmy was given an award, he thanked the group, polished it with pride then, always being a jokester, casually proceeded to drop it in the trash.
Jimmy was a wealth of knowledge when it came to Charlestown and family history. Whenever I needed to know something I always knew where to find him. I would stroll down to the old bank-building coffee shop and there he would be hanging out with friends where he would always take the time to visit and provide me with fascinating facts. About a month ago I called Carol and Jimmy and said, “If you need anything, let me know”. Jimmy replied, “TELL HER IF SHE NEEDS ANYTHING, TO LET ME KNOW”. That’s just how Jimmy was. On Friday when Jimmy passed away, I was out on the porch with Jonathan. The sun had just broken out after days of rain. Jonathan looked at me, pointed to the sky and asked, “Is Papa up there now?” I said, “Papa’s in Heaven but he will always be your Papa.” And a great Papa he was.
Yeah, Jimmy Connors was a man you don’t meet every day. He was the epitome of a stand up guy and while I am sad because he has left us physically, Jimmy will live on in all of us through our memories, stories and how he affected our lives. I love you Uncle Jimmy and I am REALLY going to miss you. We all are. And don’t worry about Carol, Jamie, Jeff, Eveline or Jonathan — They have all of us.
By Melanie Marsden:
Ask anyone who knows me — I am someone who is rarely at a loss for words — but when Trux and Lauren asked me to speak about Gage, I wasn’t sure I would be able to find the right ones.
Gage Dole was larger than life, and far bigger than words.
An old soul..he was wise — well beyond his years. He came here to teach us and I learned so much from him…
I wasn’t and I’m still not sure I can do my amazing friend justice with simple words…In the end, all I can do is try my best to tell you about Gage as we knew him. How we met him, and how he touched my life…….forever.
Just in case any of you don’t know what craigslist is, it’s an online classified that has made traditional newspaper classifieds virtually obsolete. Craigslist is popular for a lot of things…Some people find used furniture, electronics, or jobs on Craigslist. Other’s find a roommate, a relationship or even a used car…
My family — The Marsdens — we found Gage.
Well sort of. It was Trux actually. While scanning the barter section I noticed his post looking for temporary housing in Boston — of course I wanted to help.
Strangely enough, my dad Zeke died of cancer 20 years ago this weekend. I was 17 at the time, and while it was terribly hard on my family, I can’t even begin to imagine how much harder that time in our life would have been if we had to pack up and move clear across the country to get my dad the treatment he needed. Dealing with cancer is hard enough, but having to do it away in a strange place seemed more of a burden than I could fathom.
While that was a very dark time in our lives — it was also one of the most beautiful. The whole community came out and supported us in any way they could. I didn’t want to imagine how my family would have gotten through such a tough time in our lives without the support of our family, friends, and neighbors. For years I’d wondered how I was going to even begin to repay all of the people who had reached out to my family when my father was sick. And on that day when I saw Trux’s Craigslist posting — I felt like this was meant to be. It was our turn to pay it forward.
If Lauren, Trux and Gage had to leave their home behind to get the treatment that Gage needed, the least we could do was help them with a place to stay and hopefully make them feel a little more comfortable in this very difficult time.
And just like that, within a few short weeks — strangers from opposite ends of the country became housemates, and not long after that, family.
Gage was just 4 when he and his parents came to live with us in Charlestown. My brother Michael, my mom Peachie, Lauren, Trux, Gage and myself all lived together under one roof for 3 months while Gage received Proton Radiation Treatment at Mass General. While it was a short amount of time in the grand scheme of things, those three months had a profound effect on me.
Growing up — no matter where our days took us as kids out exploring — 5:00 o’clock meant time to head back home for Supper. And Supper time in the Marsden house was called “Quality Time.” Quality time meant no phones, no television, no video games — just a family around the table — sharing a meal, taking turns talking about our day. But when my father died — the pain was so great and the grief so heavy that sitting around that table didn’t bring the comfort or joy it once had in our lives. It was a constant almost unbearable reminder that someone was missing; the glue that held our family together was gone.
I hadn’t taken much time to think about how tough having a child with cancer coming into our house might be. No, in retrospect I hadn’t given it much thought at all. There are so many problems in the world that we can’t fix — but here was one — staring me in the face that we could help with. The Doles needed a place to stay. We had a couple of spare rooms. Before they moved in my brother asked me “are they bringing this boy here to die?” I’m sure he was thinking that maybe we couldn’t handle that — After all we still hadn’t fully recovered from losing my dad.
I told Michael that they were bringing him here to fight. And that we had no control over what the outcome would be but we could make sure that his memories of Boston were more than of Hospital stays and medical treatments. I honestly thought we could live in the same house with them and keep a healthy distance emotionally — boy was I wrong. When they arrived — you couldn’t help but fall in love with the whole family — especially Gage.
While our intention all along had been to help Gage and his family — in the end, it was Gage that helped us. When you lose someone close — you’re afraid to feel that hurt again. You’re afraid to love and let people in. But you couldn’t keep Gage at a distance. It was impossible. He was so full of love that it spilled out of him and wrapped around you and you just had no choice. Like the story of the little brave soul who came into the world to unlock love — Gage brought love and joy and laughter back into our home. And I have no doubt that when Gage volunteered to be a brave little soul, my dad Zeke pulled him aside and said “hey Pal — while you’re down there — can you do me a favor and stop by 38 Mystic Street. They really need a dose of LOVE.”
Here was this 4 year old boy with strength and courage that most people who live very long lives never possess. But Gage never so much as complained or let the battle he was facing — slow him down or weaken his spirit. Gage loved life. Here he was a sick child….
BUT I’D NEVER MET ANYONE MORE ALIVE!!!
He’d run around the house in his super hero pajamas. Cracking jokes, telling stories, and bringing joy wherever he went. In our time together he helped clarify what was truly important in life. He brought us back to a time when everything made sense. A time before the rug was pulled out from under us. A time before we lost my dad. He brought us back to the kitchen table as a family. He helped us to love again. And if he could face life without fear — we had no choice but to follow his lead.
We were blessed to have him with us for Halloween and Christmas that year. He completely lit up our house. You should have seen Trux, Lauren, Peachie, Michael and Myself following batman all around town while he collected his loot. I’m not sure who had more fun — us or him..? And Christmas that year was better than any I’d remembered — We put on the Chipmunks Christmas Album, We decorated the tree together. Michael put Christmas bulbs up his nose and he and Gage got a kick out of it. That was the Christmas of the Blue Power Ranger Gun and a visit to meet Santa in the Berkshires.
My father used to say, “We’re all going to die. And once we accept that — we really start to live.” And boy did Gage live.
Knowing Gage and loving Gage has made me a better person. When his family lived with us they brought a joy back to our home that had been missing for years. People would hear about the story and say “how sad.” And we’d reply — spend 2 minutes with Gage and sad would be the furthest thing from your mind.
During that time, I learned so much about Power Rangers and Pirates and Pretty Girls. He could spot a pretty girl from a mile away. And you could tell the ones he really liked because those are the ones he’d show his scar too. Or whatever temporary tattoo he happened to be sporting that week. One of my favorite memories of Gage was when we went to visit him before the Bone Marrow Treatment. The last thing he said to Michael as we were leaving was — “Hey Michael, don’t ever let them make you wash those off,” referring to Michael’s very real tattoos — which Gage must have assumed were the wash off type. He probably was trying to figure out how Michael managed to avoid soap and water all those years.
Some of my family’s favorite memories of Gage were:
Peachie reading stories to Gage.
Gage belly laughing while we watched Mahna Mahna over and over again.
Watching Veggie Tales and singing silly songs.
Gage’s love of Pizzeria Regina Pizza with Black Olives.
Michael’s thumb magic trick — which Gage would ask to see over and over again.
At dinner time Trux would say, “Gage stop beating up Michael and eat your Food”.
Gage telling Michael “No Toys at the Table.” When Michael was using his cell phone.
The no playing until we eat rule and how Gage and Michael found a way around the no toys at the table rule by using neckties as headbands and playing Commando — Since technically, they argued, neck ties are not a toy — they are apparel and Trux and Lauren agreed wholeheartedly.
Hearing “One two three four I declare a Thumb War.” Every time Gage and Michael Thumb Wrestled.
Gage asking Michael if he could be his “pretend little brother”.
The snowball fight in the hospital
And on and on…
Michael was 27. Gage 4. But neither of them acted their age…
Gage, no doubt because of his condition, was blessed with this amazing Spirit which helped him, and in turn all of us, not only get through some tough times, but have a lot of fun along the way. Gage came here to teach us. He came to this world knowing the importance of family, friends, laughter and love. Of kindness and courage and strength. And he lives on in us.
I’d like to close with a quote that hangs on our wall that was given to us by Gage’s family:
If you’ve had a kindness done you — pass it on.
It was not meant for you alone — pass it on.
May it linger through the years — may it dry another’s tears
Till in Heaven it appears — pass it on.
May we all go forward with strength and courage as Gage did.
Pass it on.