The Ultimate In Writer’s Block

My niece has asked me to say a few words at her father’s memorial service on Saturday. I have no idea what I’m going to say. I want to make them smile. Maybe even laugh. My brother was a funny guy, so this should be simple. This should just flow from my fingertips.

Nary a trickle.

Am I going to choke on the most important writing assignment of my life?

If only I could tell the story about how he peed out the window on my dad’s car, or when he pinned me on the floor and pretended to hock a loogie up and spit it on me, and once “accidentally” let one slip, or when he talked my friend into putting dog poop in her mouth (she would have done anything for him), or when he blew my barbies up with firecrackers.

I can’t think of any sweet stories. They all make him sound like a rascal. But he was a sweet kid. A little shy, even.

I’ll try again in the morning.


  • without knowing your family or the audience, i think mentioning those anecdotes would be a nice touch. in addition to paying homage to his sweetness. i think the best services honor all of who the person really was. being blocked is hard, but i know you will come up with something and it will be exactly right. thinking of you and wishing you comfort and strength.


  • You’ve already got a great start with some of the things you mentioned above. If he was a bit of a rascal, those who knew and loved him will already know that, and will appreciate hearing the little stories drawn from your past. Throw in some of the things that made him “sweet, and a little shy” too. Just start writing things down as you flip through the rolodex of memories generated throughout the nearly 50 years you knew him, and you’ll have plenty to talk about in short order. I hope things go well at the memorial, and that you find peace and comfort in the company of family and friends.


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