One must write one's own epitaph. One cannot leave this to other people. If one is a public figure one cannot avoid that others write about the own life and the death. But most of us are not that famous. If we don't want to turn around in the grave out of irateness, I recommend taking over this task.
I wouldn't like to have my employers listed in such a speech. This would also be a a speech a bit too long. A CV that we usually write to get a job has nothing to do in such a last speech.
To mention how sad we are is so redundant. And perhaps some people are not sad. What a allegation. If someone suffered for years death might be a relief.
It was mentioned that the death person, a woman loved to do skilled manual jobs. She loved paperhanging, I heard. No single woman of this generation loved paperhanging. They did it because most families had not enough money to delegate this work. The housewives did everything out of a necessity, even paperhanging.
Lately I saw a Swiss movie (Die göttliche Ordnung). It was about womens' right to vote in Switzerland. In the 70s women were not yet allowed to vote. There was also a funeral in the movie. A priest hold the epitaph and described the dead woman as modest. It's true that this woman ended in the poor house, but not because she has been modest. She worked like hell in her own restaurant. Yet she had no bank account of her own. Her husband was a drinker and used up all the money. The story is based on facts. This woman was more or less robbed by her own husband. One of the suffragette stood up and told the truth.
This can be enough. Just these two words. To start with a list why one was thankful is a trap. One always forgets something.
Thank you and inviting the guests to a funeral feast. Enough.
After the speech the husband of the dead person stood up, went to the coffin and knocked hard on it. First he took his fist, then he threw his head against the coffin. Hard. Again and again.
Then he left the hall and headed for the bench in front of the mortuary chapel. He took off his glasses and dried his tears.
Sandwiches and cakes were offered later.
At night we arrived in Munich.
4/ 5Oleh Khali Bhutta