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Living Your Potential

The Best Way To Say Thank You

Why I Don't Have To Worry About My Eulogy

Over the last few years, my sister, Lori, has twice delivered eulogies at the funeral services of our beloved aunts.  In each case her remarks conveyed cherished memories and the unique characteristics of both women whom we admired and loved.  At the end of the most recent funeral, my cousins gathered around Lori to thank her for expressing what was in their hearts.  They also joked with her and asked, “Will you write mine next?”  Despite the laughing, there was a twinge of gravity.  As the middle generation witnesses the passing of their elders it causes reflection on our own lives.

A few weeks later my nine year old niece was talking with her mother.  "Mom, do you think I could give Aunt Ginny’s eulogy?"  My sister wondered how to respond and asked Olivia what she would say.  Olivia’s answer was that her aunt made life more fun and, “When we’re together with Aunt Ginny and Uncle Jess, it’s like we’re one big crazy family.”  Minutes later Olivia called me on the phone.  “Really?  I can?”  She sounded honored when I told her that yes, I’d be happy to have her deliver my eulogy.  Then she was quiet for a moment and added, “But that won’t be for a long time.”  I smiled at her tender reassurance.

Timing Is Everything

If you don’t mind contemplating your ultimate departure for a moment, it could be an interesting exercise to close your eyes and picture someone delivering your eulogy.  What would they say?  What do you hope they would say?

Yet, the greatest part about the story of my aunts is that the first time my sister delivered the heart of her remarks, it was directly to them, long before they died.  On two separate occasions she wrote beautiful letters to each aunt and presented them personally.  Included in each were all the reasons she was grateful for their presence in her life and what she had learned from them.

The Best Way To Say Thank You

Whether to a friend, family member, or business associate, delivering a meaningful thank you is the same.  The best way to say thank you to someone is to be specific and tell the person how he or she made a difference.  This holds true whether the context is a casual circumstance or a more profound occasion. 

This week, consider one of the following ideas:

Go one step further when delivering a quick “thanks” to a co-worker.  Explain what you appreciated in particular and why.
Take this extra step when interacting with family members (children or adults).
Write a letter to an elderly person who has been a positive influence in your life.
If someone important to you has a birthday coming up, consider including a special letter inside the card that describes what you cherish about him/her.

Who would you like to thank?   

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
– William Arthur Ward

Here's to you,
Ginny's signature

© 2007, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to

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