On the day itself, we had the interment and the minister invited anyone who wanted to say anything there to do so, and said there would also be an opportunity during the church service (to which more people would come). My brother said that if heaven is like the house our parents ran, it'll be a wonderful place. I really loved that.
The church service came. The church service went. At no point did the minister invite anyone, much less me, to speak. I was and am furious.
Fortunately, the guy, who knew my dad well and had had many talks with him, said a couple of the things I intended to say. This loss was personal to him too. Maybe his mind just fuzzed out.
But basically, it was important to ME to speak for my dad. For the occasion it needed to be short, so this barely scratches the surface, but anyway ... here it is, appearing in this venue only :
Everyone here knew my dad, and most of you knew the different sides of him. He had a great sense of humor. He was deeply dedicated to any cause he took up. He could be grouchy and diplomacy-challenged.
He despised poverty and abuse, especially when the victim was a child.
He had a scientist’s understanding of the environment, but he had the love for the earth and the wilderness, of a man of faith, who believed in a creator, and in our responsibility as stewards of that creation.
When he believed something was right, he had trouble accepting compromise.
He had both empathy and wisdom. Once when I was about 12, something deeply upset me. I wish I could tell you what it was. I don’t even remember now, but it was some fact of life, or pain, or death, that I had become aware of.
I told him about it, and I said, “I try not think about it, but I can’t stop.” And he told me, "Don’t try not to think about it. Do the opposite. Think about it, face it down, keep on, until it loses its power over you."
He was a great dad, and a man of integrity and compassion.
I will miss him more than I can say.