When I was at my aunt’s funeral service and the priest mentioned William Shakespeare, I had no idea what he was going to say next. There’s so much to choose from!
And with that, here’s my question. You’re attending the service of a family member. Let’s say that you weren’t terribly close to this person, not something where you’re going to be overwhelmingly distraught. More one of those “obligations we all have to do” sorts of things. As a niece or a nephew or what have you, you’re asked to say a few words. You want to bring some Shakespeare into it.
What do you bring?
The grief speech from King John is pretty powerful (“Grief fills the room up of my absent child, Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,…”) but it’s also not terribly general purpose. It’s pretty clearly a parent-child thing.
I’m a fan of sonnet 104 (“To me, fair Friend, you never can be old, For as you were when first your eye I eyed
Such seems your beauty still.”) At least that opening passage. I think it’s a pretty wonderful picture to paint, especially if you’re talking about someone who’s lived a long life and left many memories.
What else you got? I’d stay away from most of the Hamlet stuff, it’s just gotten so cliched. Well, except one that I’ve come to cherish as my own personal meditation over those we’ve lost.
Rest in Peace, Aunt Catherine. Flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.