Dad’s eulogy

May 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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Thank you all so much for coming.

Fonnie and I are deeply grateful for your kindness and support.

Dad’s life had a pretty rough start.

And a pretty awful final phase.

But, by all accounts, his last moment was one of peace.

I think he’d thank God for that.

In between dad’s beginning and end, he packed a whole lot into life.

And that may be his greatest legacy.

To turn nothing into something.

And to grab life with both hands.

The big parties on King Island.

The endless summers in Doncaster.

The myriad world adventures on land, air and sea.

Friends by the dozen.

Books by the hundred.

Beers by the thousand.

Culture by the tonne.

Wall-to-wall music, singing, laughing, playing and dancing.

What a life!

Australia was kind to dad – as if to make up for the past.

An interesting and meaningful career.

And when that petered out, an early retirement.

With good health, great company and funds to enjoy life on his own terms for decades.

Who could ask for more?

This was no accident.

Mum and dad worked, scrimped, suffered and saved for many lean years.

But it all paid off.

Those of you familiar with my emails will know that dad drove me crazy in the ‘micro’ (day-to-day) stuff.

Thank you for enduring my rants and raves over the last 18 difficult months.

But in the ‘macro’ (meaningful) stuff dad was different.

When the chips were down, he was around.

Dad played Scrabble for keeps.

He gave me books to read that were just beyond my reach.

He rammed a rigorous work ethic into me that serves to this day.

So I’m very grateful.

I hope dad is in heaven, for his sake.

As a child, I thought he was flawless and immortal.

When he went to confession, I asked him why – given he was ‘perfect’.

He replied that he was ‘far from perfect’.

As the years passed, I saw him trying to work on his game.

He taught me critical thinking, and to be objective and scientific about things.

The more I learnt, the more my faith fell apart.

I asked how he, a man of science, could reconcile the gaping chasms of logic our religion contained.

He said that ‘he prayed’.

‘Prayed for what?’ I pursued.

‘I pray, to have the faith, to believe.’

Unlike me, dad kept this up to the end.

So I figure that, if God were listening, he’d have to be impressed.

Impressed by a man who, despite being torn between seen and unseen all his life, kept striving to meet his Maker. Perhaps halfway.

I therefore think (logically) that dad may be eligible for his ‘reward’.

And if you have a religious inclination, you may wish to join my hopes with your prayers.

That dad is finally.





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  1. Hello Paul, this was the best eulogy I’ve ever heard and beautifully delivered. You dad would have been very impressed, and most importantly, exceptionally proud. You provide Wim and Barbie a wonderful legacy for the future. Best wishes to you and Fonnie Regards Malcolm

    • Thank you so much, M. That is a most encouraging reaction. I’m glad something positive could come from this event. And grateful to you for articulating the words my father couldn’t – and now can’t. Best regards indeed, P.

  2. Wonderful words, Paul. My condolences and respect at this difficult time. It’s such a hard part of life. Best wishes.

    • Many thanks, Ad. You know all about it, which gives your sentiments double strength. And I can sure use it right now. Kind regards, P.

  3. That was gorgeous to read – a honest and loving sharing of your Dad and who he was. Thank you Feisty – much love to you xxx

    • That means a great deal to me, Sarah. A thousand thanks for your love, thoughts and support at this particularly hideous time. Love, F.

  4. Dear Paul, Terrific words for the memory and love of your father, you are a credit to both your parents and you are your own man. My love and thoughts are with you both. Yours truly David Casey

    • Dear David, when someone who was at my 21st speaks, I listen. And 30 years later, you still command attention. I’m extremely grateful for your acute observations and chronic care. Best regards indeed, P.

  5. […] Dad handed down a small beaker to me. […]

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