On friday the 20 May, i woke up to news that my grandfather had passed away. After a short but incredibly hard fight with cancer, Pops body finally had enough. This coming wednesday the 25 May is his funeral and i have been asked to do a eulogy. How does one sum up 73 years of life into a few short minutes? ive tried my best to put together something which i can read... I hope this does Pop justice.
Henry James once said, "Sorrow comes in great waves...but rolls over us, and though it may almost smother us, it leaves us. And we know that if it is strong, we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain."
I think grandchildren have a special vantage point. By the time we meet our grandparents, they ve probably made most of their mistakes and learned most of their lessons. Their secret journey, unobserved by others, has gradually carved itself into their faces. I also think that there are lives that are so whole that when they end, you realise they ve told the story of all of our lives. Jim, my pop, had that kind of life. As I knew him, he was handsome and happy and defiant; and he had his own brand of funny. If you listened to him you found he was a deep thinker with a penetrating and progressive mind. He felt deeply, we all knew that, even though we respected the veil he often tried to put over his feelings. Most amazing of all to me, he didn t seem the sort of person who simply let life happen to him. He was always an actor in it. We all know about the amazing amount of knowledge he had, and shared.
I have many memories of Pop. From that horrible pet cat he had that used to wreak havoc on anyone who entered the house, to the endless shopping trips which involved Pop looking at packets and cans of consumables, for hours on end just to save that 50c at the counter, or the coffee dates we would have at the local shopping centre. My most standout memory is this. One of the last conversations i had with pop. We were watching TV in my dads living room and on came a show about Magic. Both of us sat there eyes fixed on the TV and when the show had finished, Pop jokingly told me to go out and find magic. I guess, whilst he was just mucking around with me, as i reflect on all the memories pop and i made, I realise that i've actually found it.
Magic happens when you embrace the moments in life, the seemingly insignificant ones that somehow become embedded into your own soul. You grab them and hang onto them with every ounce of your strength, you pull them close to your heart hoping to not let one slip from your grasp and out of your memory. You squeeze them as tight as you can, the same way Pop would squeeze you when he came in for those massive hugs.
To poppy Jim,
Rest in peace,The meaning of your life is still unfolding.
Rest in peace. In me the meaning of your life is still unfolding.
Rest in peace, in me.The meaning of your life is still unfolding.
Rest. In peace in me the meaning of our lives is still unfolding.