When the time came to write something special about him for the funeral, my brother contacted me and asked me to do it. He said that since I was the writer of the family, I was the ideal choice for this important task. I’d never realized that my family thought I was good with words, so I was extremely flattered by his request – and honoured. That day, only a few hours after my father had passed away, and in the midst of grief, I sat down and wrote a eulogy for him on behalf of my family. I’d like to share it with all of you today on the 3rd anniversary of his passing. I’ve also included some family photos.
What purpose does each of us serve in our lifetime and how do we measure its significance? Must we be world-renowned inventors of something extraordinary for our existence to be deemed worthwhile? How is a man’s success truly measured?
My father did not live in a big fancy house. He lived in a happy loving home.
(My parents when they were a young couple)
He did not dine in upscale trendy restaurants, but rather came home to dinner with his family every night.
He did not globe-trot around the world, hob-knobbing with the rich and famous. Instead, he was a loyal and faithful husband and a dedicated father.
My father had no use for designer clothing or expensive cars because he did not believe in the value of things.
He chose instead, to invest in family, to invest in people. He did not build an empire of money. He built an empire of love, never confusing what he owned with what he was worth.
(Our family (yup, that's me on the left))
My father did not make headlines around the world. He made headlines in our world.
He was here to guide and to teach us. He taught us kindness and compassion. A gentle and wise soul sent to help offset the evil in this world.
He made his way with integrity, passing on the most valuable tools in this life, so that we could in turn pass them on to those arriving after us. In essence, he created a human chain of kindness that would continue through the generations and spread through all who knew him.
One night, many years ago, looking-in on his granddaughters sleeping snugly in their beds, he turned and said “Do you see these two little girls sleeping like angels in their beds? This is what’s important. Remember that. Nothing else in life even comes close.”
He taught us that children and family, love and forgiveness are the most important sources of peace and happiness.
(My father with me and my two brothers)
His creed was simple and taught the value of relationships and commitment:
“Love each other” he said. “Don’t ever place your loved ones at the bottom of your priority list. All the money in the world, all the careers you will ever build can never hold as much value as the memories you will build with your loved ones. Life is short, sometimes shorter than we plan for, and you will one day regret not having hugged your children more, or taken a walk holding hands with your partner, or laughed with your loved ones. Love each other.”
My father was the definition of a good man and the most successful I have yet known. He lived a more fulfilled life than anyone could dare hope for.
Thank you for showing us the road to integrity – not by what you said but by what you did. You have shown us all, by example, what it means to be a decent, loving human being.
Thank you for teaching us patience and understanding.
And most of all, thank you for loving us…
Beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, your job is done and it’s now time to go home.
Spread the wings of your soul and rise to the spirit world where you belong.
You have embraced us your whole life. It is now time for God to embrace you.
This post is in loving memory of my father who is always on my mind and forever in my heart. I hope that wherever he is, he is happy, and finally at peace.
(My father and his two granddaughters (my girls when they were younger))