My name is Merryn Henderson and I am a full-time, professional specialist eulogy writer. This is how and why I made that choice . . .
Way back in 2007, I fell out briefly with a very dear friend. We argued about what should or shouldn’t be carved on a gravestone, if you can imagine such a thing.
"Life stops, but words live on."
We agreed, there is no single right way to write about a person who has died or to describe their life and remember them. At the same time, I realised many people aren’t comfortable talking about death or dying, but as it happens - I am.
Over the years I’ve juggled the alphabet in odd ways, many of them under the monicker @rentaquill.
Writing for a wide range of audiences, writing speeches, often dealing with sensitive shifts in strategy or technical subjects - I have a reputation for being able to write in other people's tone of voice, and if I do my job properly, then I am invisible.
But if you add two and two at this point - taking on tough assignments and handling sensitively in complete confidence, and writing in a way that can echo another person's voice - well, that adds up to a darned good reason to create @uniqueulogy.
In general, death and dying don't come up in everyday conversation. That makes it hard to find the right words when a person does die - or is dying. What makes it even harder, if you're not a regular writer, are the small and hidden truths of a person's real life.
Add to this, special situations - such as a high profile, a strong media interest or a very sensitive life story - and you can see how hard it may be to write a eulogy when you are completely lost for words.
I have the experience, discretion, and expertise to write with respect; with affection; with fond recollection, with flair or pragmatic tact or even with shocking, rude humour . . . and that's all right, because you know what? That's exactly what you may want in your speech.
There, this is me. As you can tell, I am mostly harmless and fairly normal. I live in Norfolk, I also spend time in Monmouthshire. I can travel to wherever you are, whenever you need me to be there.
Speaking in public - the art of rhetoric - is always easier when you've had professional help to write your speech. If there's anything you'd like to know about me, my work, or the art of rhetoric and the language of death and dying in general, then I would love to hear from you. You can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org