In memory of Pat Trueman

Murphy Trueman
4 min readAug 27, 2023

My grandmother passed away earlier this year, and when my mother was planning the funeral, she’d said, “I still need to find people to speak”. Before I knew it, I’d blurted out, “I can speak if you want. It will give you one less thing to worry about”.

I’m terrified of public speaking and am a notorious people-pleaser… not an ideal combination in this set of circumstances. So I called my mum back a short time later in a panic, saying I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it.

She understood, but the people pleaser in me (once again) felt awful, and I said I’d step away, see what I could write, and let her know if I thought I could do it.

I spent a bit of time researching, trying to understand what people talked about when giving a eulogy for a grandparent. But I couldn’t figure out how to structure a speech in a way that sounded like me.

After failing to find anything that resonated, I began brain-dumping things that came to mind when I thought of my grandma. And two hours later, I’d sent her my mother my first draft, and was incredibly proud of what I’d written.

I’ve added my speech below, in an attempt to make someone else’s grieving process a little easier, and to try and remove any doubts someone might have about the right way to deliver a eulogy.

In loving memory of Pat Trueman

It’s the little things that seem to stand out the most with Patsy; that one particular tone she’d use when she said “good heavens”, her compliments on any dish served, despite her reminding us of how little she could taste… she’d always clarify “it’s the texture I like!”.

But what stands out most of all, is the love and pride she felt for her grandchildren and her great grandchild, Josh.

I’m sure everyone here has memories like mine; good memories that we’ll hold close and cherish until we see her again… memories that are so equivocally Patsy. And I’d like to share a few of those with you today.

Patsy was a woman who always liked to keep busy — from the ‘group’ sessions she’d regularly attend but never elaborate on, to her intricately planned evenings via The Age’s Green Guide, to her endeavours into animation and short film entries to Tropfest; an activity which she’d often rope family members into voicing.

Ever the technologist, Patsy even had a foray into website development, regularly working on the family tree passion project she’d put together. This later influenced my career choices and led to many heated debates about the IT curriculum in schools.

A topic I suspect she liked to bring up in a bid to impress Shannon’s late husband, Robert. A man I have no doubts she had a schoolgirl crush on, giggling at his jokes and following him around the house, with the “oh Robert!”s becoming more and more frequent as she enjoyed her ‘splashes’ of wine.

It’s these small quirks and remarks that I hold close when I think of Patsy, and the subtle influences she has had on my life over the years — from my love of Dolly Parton, to the sparks of inspiration throughout my career and even the importance of setting a strong Wi-Fi password; let’s not forget the infamous Top Gear Torrent Incident of 2011.

Last, but certainly not least, It would be wrong of me to speak here today without mentioning Patsy’s Certificate of Invalid Cookery, which we always interpreted as Invalid Cookery, proven by the time I caught her serving up pancakes for herself and Josh.

I can distinctly remember the utter disappointment on Josh’s face as he took each tiny bite, how oblivious Patsy was as she happily dug into her serving, and the moment the dots began connecting as I looked at the kitchen bench and saw an open jar of cumin among a cluster of ingredients.

In true Patsy fashion, she replied with “Oh it will be fine!, there’s nothing wrong with it”.

Dolly Parton once said: “I always just thought if you see somebody without a smile, give ’em yours!”. And I hope some of these memories I’ve shared with you today have done that; that they’ve reminded you of the humour, love, wisdom and tenderness she brought to everything she touched.

I love you Patsy.

I received many laughs throughout the speech, and found that it did exactly what I’d hoped it would; it shared her personality, and positive memories that will live on.



Murphy Trueman

Design lead, specialising in design systems. 13+ years of driving digital transformation through data-driven, human-centred design & systems thinking.