sharing (with permission)

Since I am out of words for the moment, I thought I'd share with you the simple, sweet eulogy my dad wrote about his dad: 

On behalf of the Horan family, myself and my wife Linda, Tim and his wife Vickie, Peg and her husband Ron, John and his wife Cathy, My brother Mark, and sister Chris and her husband Jim we would like to welcome you to John’s funeral liturgy.

John was a quiet man with a simple life style.  He was of the generation that put their life on hold to serve our country during World War II.   After the war as so many of his fellow servicemen he came home, married and raised a family with his wife Edith.  He and Edith shared 47 love filled years together.  His love for her was great.  When Dad retired they traveled the country together on bus trips too numerous to remember all.  For many years it seems like they were always planning their next trip.  Then Mom developed cancer and Dad took care of her for 5 long years through diagnosis, temporary remission and the final end.  He cared for her lovingly in their little house in Dellwood.  Mom always said she could never want for a better chauffer, secretary and caregiver. 

He was proud of his family and was always there for all of us during our transitions in life.  He was probably even more proud and appreciative of the successes of his 10 grandchildren.  He reveled in the opportunities to share in their 1st Communions, Confirmations, graduations, marriages and eventually the births of the next generation of our family.  He always asked about their new jobs or careers and took a keen interest in their many endeavors. When John passed on he had 10 great grandchildren and always loved seeing pictures of them even when infirmities started to limit his abilities to visit and hold them.

As most who knew John would attest he was a deeply religious person.  He loved God and had a deep attachment to his Catholic faith.  I can still remember that most nights he would kneel at the side of his bed and say evening prayers before retiring at the end of the day.  Every Lent he would drag us kids to a Lenten Production of The Passion Play given by a group of Catholic men in North City and County at various parish halls.  He played many roles over the years in the play.  I’m sure we grumbled a little when he took us along once every year but we would always wind up soaking in the play and telling anyone who would listen “That’s our Dad up there.”

Dad was an avid reader of the newspapers and subscribed all his life.  Several years back in the late 90’s he saw a poem in the paper that touched him deeply.  He cut it out and showed to Tim and Vickie.  Dear Vickie took it and framed it and gave it back to him.  For years it sat in an honored spot on his dresser.  He always told us he wanted it read at his funeral so we’re honoring that request now.  The poem is by the poet Isla Paschall Richardson and is simply entitled “To Those I Love.”  It was first read at the funeral of the American statesman Averell Harriman.

If I should ever leave you
Whom I love
To go along the silent way
Grieve not
Nor speak of me with tears,
But laugh and talk
Of me as if I were
beside you there.
(I’d come- I’d come
could I but find a way
But would not tears and grief
be barriers?)
And when you hear a song
Or see a bird
I loved, please do not let
The thought of me
Be sad… for I am
Loving you just as
I always have…
You were so good to me!
There are so many things
I wanted still
To do- so many things
To say to you…
Remember that I
Did not fear… It was
Just leaving you
That was so hard to face
We cannot see beyond
But this I know
I loved you so- twas heaven
Here with you!


melissa said...

beautiful. i love it. and you. xo