Goodbyes are hard

This is the talk I gave at my father-in-laws funeral. I found it on a scrap of paper in my office and had always intended to capture it more permanently. So years later this is what I wrote and I remember I cried when I read it.

“I guess have known Court for about 20 plus years. Jim Harrison the poet once said the “Death steals everything.” And this is true, but for me death also leaves a trail of memories. When I think back on my time with Court I am reminded of a man who loved music and magic, a man who unconditionally accepted me as part of his family. Court always had a smile in his eyes and a joke up his sleeve.

Old age seem to have a way of distilling the true character of a person. Court said that “Growing old was not for the weak or wobbly.” We all confront our own mortality and Court took each step with grace and dignity.

Kindness and affection are the virtues I will remember him by. The dead don’t get the chance to speak at their own funeral, but there are a couple of things I would like to say on behalf of Court to his two daughters. Susie and Jill “I want to thank you for not abandoning me when I grew old. I loved being your father and you were the two best girls a man could have. Thank you for holding my hand when I died and I promise I will never ask you again “What’s up in your camp.””

I finished by reading a poem by Robert Frost

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down today.
Nothing gold can stay.
I still have that moment etched inside me, when Court died and standing in that funeral home.

 

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