Following their respective deaths in August, the news recently has included remembrances of Aretha Franklin (1942-2018) and John McCain (1936-2018). Through various tributes, we get a sense of their lives as well as their social and cultural significance. This has been followed by commentary about what makes for an appropriate way to remember someone after their passing. (Is such second-order critique inevitable or is it another symptom of our cultural divide?). We learn something about our collective life in these moments.
Whether it is an internationally known figure, a “local hero,” or a beloved colleague, reflecting upon how we remember great men and women can be instructive. Eulogies are an important form of articulating what we understand to be a good life. Continue reading