The Eulogizer

Premise: The death of too many close family members causes one man to reluctantly assume a role for which he is ill prepared, uncannily effective and regrettably far too practiced.

He’s called the Eulogizer
He reluctantly accepts this moniker as our elder
A name for which he feels disdain
It conjures memories of unspeakable pain

He’s lost a father, mother, sister and son
His nights sleepless realizing his duty is not yet done

I sit among those assembled, feeling anxious
I know his words will bring a measure of solace

His face stone, voice strong, steady
Fighting his emotion
Carefully crafted memories are his calming potion

As anyone, he’s averse to this task
How long will he fool us with his mask

Conveying the spirit of those lost, their idiosyncratic ways
He’s reluctant yet seemingly could speak for days

Rigid at the podium stands his six foot four frame
After this day he will never be the same

Face stricken white, eyes without color, eyebrows raised as if asking why
Pushing on, he must try

Unaccompanied by notes or written speech
Each of us welcoming, wanting, needing his outreach

As he speaks, his grieving words encircle us from above
Settling to impart a healing salve of love

He speaks eloquently of his many memories
Figuratively, bringing us to our knees
Hopes and dreams of those gone, now only casualties

Many sit trembling, sorrow decomposes their composure
He executes his chore
Foolishly hoping there will be no more
He doesn’t question or complain
His love precludes feelings of disdain

He is eloquent
His plain spoken manner brilliant
Evoking warm memories of those lost, so elegant

Now standing before his mothers grave
A ceremony for the soul he hopes to save

Engulfed by dead winter cemetery silence
Ghosts of father, mother, son and sister stand in reverence

The sergeant at arms, face cast in steel
A strong soldier, we wonder if he can feel

His stout frame encased in military blue
Highlighted by medals and awards casting an ominous hue

Flanked by motionless men of lesser rank
For their presence our country we thank

A half step forward
He leans in toward
To the Eulogizer the sergeant utters in hushed tone
As if family and friends have left them standing alone

The folded flag resting between white gloved hands
The Eulogizer firmly stands

“On behalf of the President of the United States, the Commandant of the Navy, and a grateful nation please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s service to Country and the US Navy.”

Then a moment forever frozen in time and memory
For those standing close enough to see
The steely soldier contains himself no longer
A tear upon his cheek swells, becoming stronger

More invisible souls gather upon the hallowed ground
The millions lost since the first musket cracked with sound

The lone bugler standing under a mighty oak
Red, white and blue his eyes, gloves and uniform
He Taps, long sorrowful notes inciting emotional storm

The sergeant holds a long salute, and when it’s done
We disperse, each pondering a private question

The Eulogizer’s words deliver comfort and peace
Enabling a mourners pain to cease

There’s no need to live in fear
While waiting until you again hear, from the Eulogizer