May 21, 2014

The Eulogy

Categories: Children in DivorceDivorceParents

After the service was over, my friend, Larry, came up to me and said, “When I die, I want you to do my eulogy!”

“Then he’s going to have to spend a lot more time with you,” my wife chimed in.  “He’ll have to learn a lot more about you.”

“Oh, God, no!” said Larry.  “I don’t want THAT.  I want him to lie his head off about what a great guy I was.”

For my father-in-law, one of the Greatest Generation’s  Navy veterans, there were many amazing accomplishments to remind his friends and family of.  There was his status in the family, and the endless help he provided.  There was comedy and quirkiness.  There was love.

It  all begged the question, as I put the remembrance together, of what could be said of anyone?  How do you sum up someone’s life?  What did they like?  What drove them crazy?  I thought about some of the divorce clients I’ve had over a 34-year career, about the ones who just wanted to know “what my rights are.”  About others who’d never missed a school play all the way through public school, and were terrified they might, if communications broke down.   I wondered what eulogies their children might deliver.  What would those epitaphs be?

“I just want to know what my rights are”?

“Daddy!  You came!”?

“You were always there for me, Mom!”?

It’s said the Past can inform the  Present.  It might be a good thing if the Future could, as well.

Steve Yasgur

Stevan Yasgur is a Collaborative Family Law attorney practicing in Edina, MN. A 1980 graduate of the William Mitchell College of Law, he was active in the organized bar early in his career and drafted legislation amending the child support law. He has tried numerous dissolution cases and resolved hundreds of others without trial. For the last decade, his practice has emphasized assisting clients in the Collaborative process. He is also a qualified Rule 114 neutral on the Supreme Court's roster of qualified neutrals. He is a member and past-president of the Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota, and a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

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