There are no soft words for this. I can’t make it easier to say or to hear. My Dad has unexpectedly passed away. In the last few days, we have all received and made those awful phone calls, the ones that come at unusual hours. The constellation that is my large, awkward and jumbled family is gathering from distant points on the map. We are trying to pull ourselves together to honour him and find a way to move through our grief with love and grace.
I hesitated about posting anything here about this. Then I decided that in my little corner of the blogosphere I wanted to recognize his passing and honour him. I hope that doesn't make anyone uncomfortable. Please don't feel you have to say anything.
I offered to write his obituary. I didn’t know how to distill his life down to a few column inches. I couldn’t. So I would like to say some of those things here,
Dad, you are the hero-king of our little clan. Your decency, sense of justice, your defense of the vulnerable, your courage in speaking truth to power, and your quiet kindness are among your many shining attributes. Your love of music and art, your ability to quote poetry, your delight in birds, pets, nature and children; your thoughtful analysis of history and current world events; your ability to weave fascinating tales and speak on any subject have always made you a favourite at any gathering. Your unfailing belief in all your children and your support and encouragement has allowed us to become the adults we know you are proud of. Your pleasure in your grandchildren and ability to coax a giggle out of them has earned you a new generation of loyal fans. We all love you so much and feel blessed to have been loved in return by you. We thought we had so much more time to tell you.
When I was a child I received a little New Testament with a dark blue leather cover embossed with gold writing and gold on the page ends. I thought it a very precious gift. It had a line on the inside cover that somehow has risen over the years to whisper to me on some of the darker days,
Be strong and of good courage
I will do my very best.
Addendum January 16th: Thank you to everybody who commented here. Your kind words and warm wishes were felt and appreciated. We had a service that I believe honoured my father and helped us to come together as a family and express our love for him and for each other.
I am deeply touched that you chose to share your condolences with me during this difficult time. Thank you so much. It really meant a lot.