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Write Your Own Eulogy

A Psychological Exercise

James Neill
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About the Write Your Own Eulogy Exercise Applications of this Tutorial Cautions Outline - Write Your Own Eulogy Recommended Links About the Write Your Own Eulogy Exercise This exercise is one of the most challenging and powerful emotional activities I know, so be careful about the group and situation in which you choose to use it. My suggestion is that it will tend to work better in the middle or latter stages of a program. For a short session, allow approx. 20 minutes. For a longer session, perhaps involving sharing eulogies, allow approx. 1 hour. As a lead-up or extension, this exercise could be combined with exploring one's mortality via online activities such as, Life Expectancy Calculator, Life Map, and This nature of this exercise and the way it is presented can lead to some participants feeling 'too confronted'. In these situations I've taken the pressure off everyone writing a eulogy and instead had a group discussion about whether or not people ever think about dying, if not why not, and if they do, what do they think about the reality that one day, today will be the last day of their life! Applications of the Write Your Own Eulogy Exercise This exercise is designed for young adults, but could be adapted for children, adolescents and older adults. Examples of possible applications of the Write Your Own Eulogy are:

I tend to offer gentle. even if not many eulogies are written. I also explain that it may be illustrating some validity of the existential perspective that we do not find it easier to confront our mortality. passive refusal. Facilitators must be ready to address and deal with grief and loss reactions (as well as post traumatic stress responses). support and trust in engaging in potentially confronting ideas. general suggestions about why it might be an interesting exercise. One need also be aware that for individuals who have encountered traumatic experiences of death. I tend to avoid trying to engage these reactions. to write their own eulogy and to share it with the rest of their group. particularly in Western culture. questioning the value of the exercise. is a surprisingly challenging topic. existential psychology. the exercise should probably be used later in a sequence rather than earlier. many if not of all of which could be viewed as defence mechanisms for dealing with unsolved "death anxiety" or "existential angst". Cautions This is an activity that one must consider carefully with groups where death and grief are likely significant issues.  for self-exploration psychology classes (e. At the very least.) personal development courses creative writing   I also use the exercise as part of a 1 day "Mystery Adventure" consisting of novel experiential activities . the exercise may provoke quite raw reactions. . I find the exercise provokes interesting conversation about existentialism and its relation to psychology and themselves. in general. particularly recent unsolved deaths. Inviting a person to envisage the possibility of his/her death. The feedback I got seemed to indicate that the eulogy experiences in this setting were more powerful. Common reactions I've found include: laughter and making a joke of the exercise. Be prepared for a wide variety of reactions. etc. active refusal. Unless one has a legitimate therapeutic intention. in looking at death and dying.g. a graveyard.. and complaining that its too of the voluntary emotional activities during the day is for the small groups (3 or 4) to visit either a church. So. to help increase availability of a sense of safety. or a meditation room.

5.deathclock. [optional] Invite each person to share his/her eulogy with the rest of the class (not compulsory).com .mylastemail. 4. which allows you to leave messages for those you care about ?to be emailed after your death www.Outline .com . When the group comes back together you could discuss what it was like to think and write about their life and death.some people theorize that the way we think about life and death characterizes the human psyche and personality . [optional] You may like to have your class discuss what a eulogy is or you could share with them what you think a eulogy is or you could read an example of eulogy out to them.Write Your Own Eulogy 1. Give participants a chance to go and sit alone and write their eulogy. 3. Or just stay simple and let them make of the activity whatever they will. out your expected date of death Life Expectancy Calculator .a unique online service.can you live to 100? Life Map . Ask participants to imagine that they died today and for each of them to write a eulogy that they would like to have read out at their own people get their life in perspective by mapping out the past and the future Existential Perspectives on Personality . Recommended Links      www.