A Touching Eulogy Read by a Dear Friend at her Father’s Funeral…

My dear friend’s father passed away this week very suddenly.  I was able to be there shortly after his passing and then again for the funeral on Thursday.  This is the eulogy she wrote in honour of her father – it is very touching and very wonderful.  I thought I’d share it here…

Imagine your darkest day.  When life lost all hope and joy.  When you felt alone, trapped and full of fear.  Negative thoughts tormented you playing over and over regardless of how much you tried to distract yourself.  Unwelcome images invaded your mind.  Perhaps most of us know what it is like to spend at least one day like this.  Now imagine spending several days, weeks, months or years in this state.  And no matter what choices you make or how much your circumstances change the darkness just does not go away.  This describes the depression that Dad had been living with for two and a half years.

There have been several moments over the last few days that I wish I could erase for many of you.  But I truly believe that because we have experienced such great suffering, that we have now have a greater capacity to experience true joy.  Let’s focus on joy this afternoon.

Standing out by the lake front I look towards the islands and the north channel, a place my father loved to spend time on our sailboat when I was a child.  Those moments on the open water, with the sails up, destination off in the distance were by far my most cherished memories of Dad.  He was always so relaxed and something about him would change.  It was as if he was where he was supposed to be.

I can recall my excitement when he would offer me the helm.  “To keep it on course, set your compass and stay focused on a point far off in the distance.”  He would say.  You have no idea how hard I would try to make sure that compass needle would not move a hair from the degree in which we were headed. But the more I tried to keep it in the right place the more difficult it seemed to be to stay on course.  I learned that it required me to focus on the point ahead, trusting that the compass was set right and the result was a natural course of direction.  He also loved to teach me how to interpret the charts.  He would show me the buoys on the chart and explain that they mark the way in which we need to travel and in some cases serve as a warning of hazards.  Locating the next approaching buoy was an official role appointed to one of us by Captain Daddy – one that I took very seriously.  I prided myself on being the first one to spot it and when I did I would yell out “I found it!”  “And he would reply, “Great job Amy, you have such a good eye, now don’t lose sight of it but remember to stay on course.” The color of the buoy was important too.  And I still remember the three R’s.  Red Right Returning.  

One of the most dramatic moments on the boat was tacking.  In order to reach your destination the sailboat travels in a zig zag pattern rather than a straight line, this allows the sails to maintain alignment with the wind.  When you tack the direction in which the boat heels (or leans) changes and the main sail switches sides.  We learned very quickly that the best thing for us kids to do during tacking was to stay low, hold tight, trust Mom and Dad to maneuver the ropes and steering and shift from one side of the boat to the other as quickly as possible .  I remember the rush of anticipation I would feel as Dad yelled out “Come about!”  The boom would go flying from one side of the boat to the other and so would us kids but in the opposite direction in order to help maintain balance while the boat was heeled.

Once we were sailing smoothly I would make my way up to the bow where I would sit for what seemed like hours.  I loved looking out over the open waters with a great sense of adventure lying before me.  Once in a while I would look back to see the bay that we left behind surprised to see how far we’d travelled.  Focusing once again ahead of us I would be filled with excitement over reaching our destination.  I would imagine mermaids singing all around me and the sound was so sweet that I would hum a simple melody along with them.

Reflecting on those days sailing the North Channel with my Dad I am overwhelmed with a sense of joy that these lessons have actually prepared me for life.  My Heavenly Father invites me to accept what he is offering me – my life.  Each day, I choose to focus on a point far off in the distance, an eternal destination.  My moral compass is set by Jesus not my own efforts, this is what enables me to stay on course.  The Bible is my chart.  It teaches me to identify and discern the spiritual buoys that mark the channel of living faithfully but also the warnings of distractions and dangers.  I have been appointed a special role by my Heavenly Captain who asks me to stay aware of these markers without losing focus on my destination so I stay on the right course.  My final destination remains the same even though my journey will require me to zigzag through life’s experiences in order for my spirit to maintain alignment with God’s will.  And when the tacking in life occurs and God’s plan requires us to come about it is dramatic.  I have to shelter myself under His protection and hold tight to His hand.  I trust him to maneuver the ropes and steering during the change while everyone works together to shift priorities around in order to maintain balance.  Soon I realize that we have made it to the other side and the stability has been restored.  I look forward to the adventures waiting ahead of me.  I may take some time once in a while to go back briefly to the moments I left behind.  When I do I can be grateful for every step that got me to where I am right now.  And as I turn again to face the days to come I do so with a great sense of hope for the destination that lies ahead knowing that I have come this far.  It s then that I can hear the angels singing all around us and their voices are so peaceful and comforting that I find myself singing praises along with them.

In closing I would like to share a short statement that Dad wrote in his gratitude journal only days before his life ended “Jesus, thank you for family.  I surrender control of my life to you!”

Thank you

I love you Daddy.

I will always be your Sweetheart.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s