Memorial Service Eulogy
Although Mark wasn’t allowed to attend his father’s funeral as he awaited trial, friends were able to deliver this eulogy – written by Mark for the occasion – on his behalf, during the service held on 27 April 2010.
Familiar sounds echo in new places,
they follow me, sparking warm memories in a flash of nostalgia.
For a moment you are here,
and I drift softly through broken visions of the past,
each piece a comfort in this shattered dream,
as I stand choking on a tide of welling tears.
Your voice rings again,
a gentle whisper in my ear.
Wise words that caught my fall, guided my climb.
Experience spoke through the burdened eyes of your life,
and I saw what you saw.
Life flowed its gushing river, and I rafted through.
Faces changed, places flew by,
and you were my constant – the loving lifeguard,
watching from the shore, casting your light.
Your forgiveness taught me love,
your humanity taught me compassion,
your dedication taught me patience.
You poured your soul into my youthful cup,
filling it with the quenching rivers of knowledge.
You were there to heal my wounds, nurse my pains.
You heard my first words, and saw my first steps.
You listened patiently to my stories,
to my first awkward notes.
Devotion surrounded me, radiating from your heart,
waiting on my every word.
Love – pure and unending,
the golden ray of light that blessed my life,
is now but a faded shimmer.
I stand in disbelief,
expecting your smile, your reassuring hand.
I look to the horizon but know your sun will never rise again,
and I am shrouded in shadows.
Years rushed by us, and I grew wings,
caught up in the flight of living,
soaring through opportunities you laid in my path.
Yet your soft smiles hid deeper wounds you never shared,
a silent fortress I could never breach,
walls which made me blind, walls I never broke down.
You soldiered on, the unfaltering warrior,
the unsung hero.
I pace exhausted floors, slave to my tortured mind,
lost in a test too great to bear.
A future calls, but with lost pieces:
A missing smile in the crowd,
a phantom arm across my shoulder,
stolen words of wisdom, encouragement, faith.
Only memories can fill this void,
and these kind companions follow my every step,
just as you once did.
I think of you now, celebrating the life you led,
whispering unsaid words,
praying you hear their gentle flutter,
in the wind’s wistful song.
My spirit wills you back into existence,
time and again,
yet there is no response;
only a harsh reminder of our fragile mortality.
‘When are you coming home?’ is answered only
by ‘when shall I join you?’
Today, we remember you,
and the warm tears that roll soothing waterfalls down stricken cheeks,
will tenderly kiss your body,
as you drift in sweet slumber to everlasting light.
Rest now, your weary head,
let your heart fill with joy,
let it soar on the waves of love that tenderly lap the shores of your soul.
Let sorrows slip away, in the calm of the night,
while the stars twinkle their timeless promise:
Eternal peace, be yours,
a blanket of warmth sewed from the sweetest memories that caress your richest thoughts.
For memory is the greatest wealth we may know,
its value outweighs all other,
in the face of pain it comforts,
bringing happiness without currency.
And so I am rich ‘til my last breath,
for you have so touched my life,
and I can never forget.
And while angels sing and fan your tired limbs,
your memory shall live hot in the fires of the hearts you have blessed.
As I stand on the precipice of final goodbyes,
I look out to your glorious sunset,
a final memory,
knowing I will always miss you.