birthday eulogy poems

death doula advice is, “what is said at funerals should be said at birthday parties instead.” So this year I started writing birthday eulogy poems, part fun/part serious. They were a huge hit. No… seriously… whoda thunk? You don’t have to be good at it (see examples below) but I say you should try it. It turns out to be a great gift.



i’ve known my sister since way back when    I was the first to the mother hen    so without the risk of sounding repetitive, i can say with certainty,   no one. was more competitive.     Most didn’t see the undertow,     she’d let you think she let it go.    domineering and kinda dramatic    it’s because she cared so much, it could make her erratic    She’d help hide the body,   wouldn’t judge any heathens.   She had a lot of friends, for these very reasons   Only very few knew this little bit   Some undeserving still made the list.   But if you were hers in full recognition,    then you were hers, no conditions   Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy she watched who crossed her peoples path   Then plotted which of them would suffer her wrath   The closer to her, like the sun,  what wouldn’t kill her better run   This concludes your eulogy poem   Happy Birthday!


C is one of my oldest friends        At this point it’s to the end          That might be soon (taking those skinny pills)      But such is the life of beauty and stubborn will      My first impression was “a people person, she likes the horde”    But turned out she’s like me, mostly just curious, and hates being bored       Can’t drive for shit    she’ll take a hit      Kinda morbid and full of wit       She’s smarter than me and that’s just fine      I’ll just sit back (and of the two of us) can handle my wine    cheers, my friend to another birthday date    You’re one of my favs despite always being late    (no but really you’re ridiculous with that)    onward


It’s been 16 years, or such?    First impression was he didn’t say much     he watches to hear what you say first    then listens to see… which may be wors(t)     you think you know what he’s going to say    but then it turns another way    the surprise was the coolest thing about you Mark    Also, honorable, judge-y and a lot of snark.  Onward


i’ve not known many only-childs  there’s rumors of them being wild   that wasn’t my first impression, in fact   my first impression was of Jay’s back.   The rattle of the newspaper in the early morn   as his son hurriedly pushed me out the door  “Introduce me,” i said, “What the heck!”  But the son pressed his lips together and shook his head   We won’t go into detail about what happened next…  not much later i think i figured it out  It wasn’t shame that had him pushing me out  The son wanted the attention on himself   Because there isn’t anybody that doesn’t like jay  you want to hear what he has to say   a provider. a gentleman caring in many ways  and yes, a twinkle in his eyes that speaks of wilder days   even with him slowing down  everyone always wants him around   i’m glad to know him, cheers to jay   may all your wishes come true on  another birthday. 


i am the second of this marin though not the least!   But (okay fine) let’s not make it about me    Saying she was 3rd of 12 and had 2 girls of 2   Doesn’t cover the through and through   A lot happened aside from being a sister and mother  a lifetime that can’t be broken down in numbers   She kinda liked people and people liked her  Interest in a lot of things probably made life a blur   The dutchess of the ball that played all the sports  Also the prettiest from many a source   more importantly; not boring, since boredom came easily  competitive, but not really one to take things seriously  In a way she was like the birds that she loved so much  The wild and colorful ones people want to watch   But wild and pretty travel thousands of miles  Scavenge and forage through piles and trials   There were some hard times there for a while  And it probably wasn’t close to easy by many a mile   Some things that wipe most people out  She’d just carry on, no reason to doubt   She knew you were there,  would keep you in sight  might offer advice,  or correction (if you fall out of line)   You might not see her but she’s around  we gave cheers on another year round   but back to fun, which of course leads back to me  all of the above is also what makes me, me  awesome   So to everyone here you’re all very welcome


There are stories of mothers in law that sounded like shrews    That had me wondering what I was getting into   But I don’t know what they’re talking about  So I’ve apparently, kinda lucked out?   From what I’ve seen, you have opinions   and if you’d wanted, could’ve ruled dominions.   Still, I probably don’t know the half of your life.   You aren’t the kind to brag, or dwell on strife.   So I asked the son what he thought about his mother.  Tell me a story, a summary, or other?    “she made me” he said “and I’m the best.”  I rolled my eyes. “give it a rest”.  Then he picked up the phone and asked her a random question  She laughed, and gave a suggestion    That got me to thinking. A witness cross-linking   Who else do I know, that does the lot?  Your snobbiest kid calls you, without even a thought?  If I know nothing else, that cannot fade.  It is one. of. the. greatest. achievements. ever. made.   You deserve acknowledgement at any rate.   So cheers to you on another birthday date.    Happy birthday

More next year

(i got hungover from launching the last book, the well ran dry!)