DEAR HARRIETTE: A good friend of mine died recently, and I was asked to help out at her funeral by making some comments during the testimonials part. I am struggling because my friend was not always nice and could be kind of caustic with people. She had a sharp tongue and made a lot of people mad over the years. I don't think it's appropriate to tell those kinds of stories. But how do you honor someone's life and remain honest when you get up and speak about the person? I hate when I go to funerals and hear what sounds like fake stories about people. -- Honoring the Dead, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
DEAR HONORING THE DEAD: You are right to be very thoughtful about your comments before you offer your testimonial. While it would be inappropriate to say anything mean-spirited or caustic, you can craft comments that show a glimpse of the fullness of your friend's personality. Using humor helps. You could say something about how nice she was to you and how she would always tell it like it is. She had a sharp tongue, so everybody could count on her being honest. Balancing the good with the raw can keep your comments honest and uplifting.