So many times at funerals I facilitate grieving relatives or friends coming to the microphone, prepared to speak, even with a written speech in hand, and when they arrive they are suddenly overtaken by emotions welling up from somewhere deep inside, often a place they have never been before. Their preparedness vanishes like the early morning mist and they become totally consumed by tears or a deep gutteral convulsion or a choking throat freezing their ability to speak.
I don’t see this as a negative, but I note the phenomena, having witnessed it numerous times in many different types and ages of people.
Let me propose a theory… There is an aura around a microphone, with a radius of one or two steps, where emotions are corralled, ready for any unsuspecting person with the desire to speak of their treasured relative or friend.
Most people try and push forward, pressing further into the difficulty, squashing it down and not give it the significance it demands. They try and contain it so as not to be embarrassed or make other people feel uncomfortable.
My response… Having discovered this phenomena in my own emotional journey at times, I do the opposite. Simply… if I sense an emotional moment arising within the microphone aura, I step away, at least one step’s distance from the microphone and lectern and then allow the emotion, the constriction of the throat or desire to cry, to pass, to subside like the ebbing wave crashing to the shore. With the time taken, always allowed within a farewell context, I compose my thoughts and emotions, becoming very aware of my inner self, refocus and tackle the task at hand. Emotions haven’t been denied, but rather given the space and time needed for them to live their natural life.
The microphone aura is no longer the powerful monster it once was, but if acknowledged, like a powerful breaking wave, it becomes an experience you endure and survive. The ceremony continues with the dignity and honour it deserves and you’ve grown massively in the eyes of your audience.
What do you think of the theory?
Have you experienced this aura yourself?
At funerals or during other occasions?
I would love to hear from you if you have an opinion!