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Uncles funeral

(12 Posts)
She777 Mon 02-Aug-21 20:06:41

My uncle has passed away and we have been asked to do a reading for the funeral.
The problem is that I hadn’t seen him for about 7 years and probably 10 before then, despite living in the same town.
Our family has never been close so I have no idea what to say in a reading. I’m sure they would like some nice stories but he was all but a stranger to me and my siblings so I don’t have any. I really don’t want to upset his widow, she is a lovely lady, but what can I say or do? How can I get out of doing it?
Any constructive advice would be greatly received.

JaneJudge Mon 02-Aug-21 20:12:55

Just read a sentimental poem about life and death?
or just tell her you cannot do it

MissAdventure Mon 02-Aug-21 20:23:25

Stick to what you know.
How long he was married, children, if he had any.
Then a poem.

Cabbie21 Mon 02-Aug-21 20:31:15

“Do a reading”- doesn't this mean that a reading has been chosen( could be a poem, or a passage from a book or from from the Bible) and you have been chosen to read it? The correct word for what you are thinking is a eulogy.
Check up what is expected of you. If it is in fact s a eulogy, ask other people who knew your uncle for some anecdotes or ideas.

Katie59 Mon 02-Aug-21 20:39:59

You need to get together with his closest family and talk about his life experiences, that’s exactly what the vicar would do if he gave the eulogy. You have been asked because you are a confident speaker and not too close that you would get emotional ( that’s hard).
Some eulogies I have heard have been very surprising revealing great endeavor that few knew about.

Greenfinch Mon 02-Aug-21 20:41:29

If you have been asked to do a reading I would find 3 or 4 (not biblical ones if you did not know him well) and then take them to his widow and ask her which she feels would be the most appropriate.

Shelflife Mon 02-Aug-21 20:56:19

Although you didn't know your uncle very well , doing a reading at his funeral would be a generous thing to do and the last thing you can do for him . I am sure his widow will appreciate it.

Septimia Mon 02-Aug-21 21:16:24

If you've been asked to do a reading, the chances are that you will be given the required reading as that is the usual process - ask the person who asked you. If not, then look for an appropriate poem or other passage - there must be plenty to choose from online.

She777 Mon 02-Aug-21 22:54:15

Thank you for your help.
I have asked for help from family but unfortunately he kept to himself. I’m sure I will garner a few gems and be able to put something together for on the day

Thanks all.

Callistemon Mon 02-Aug-21 23:06:43

I think Septimia is right - the readings may well have been chosen so you will need to know what it is so you can practise it first.
Is it a religious funeral so you could choose a passage from the Bible? If not, there are plenty to choose from online.

Do not Stand at my Grave and Weep
Bilbo's Last Song (At the Grey Havens)
Crossing the Bar

It would be unusual for someone to be asked to do a eulogy if they were not really close to someone. If it is a eulogy, can you think of any happy times you remember with your uncle when you were young, even an amusing anecdote too? Or ask your siblings to help you write it.

Your aunt would need to see and approve first.

MawBe Mon 02-Aug-21 23:12:59

A reading is not a eulogy
So you choose something to read - a poem, a passage from literature or something religious (if that is what thy want) but from what you say you have not been asked to speak about your uncle, tell anecdotes or whatever.
You need to discuss this with whoever is arranging the funeral and perhaps the others taking part.
You say “we” have been asked - you and who else?

Humbertbear Tue 03-Aug-21 07:49:20

Look at poems by christina Rossetti and W H Auden. If you Google ‘poems for a funeral’ you will get many suggestions. A reading means just that. You are not expected to talk about the person.