What to Say (Eulogy)

by carlocmd

He was a man who strove to love God first in all things. This love was manifested in his silent work, often without fuss or fanfare. He thought of his hands as God’s own – through them he brings healing in the world. He thought of himself always called to serve. His mission was to cure sometimes, to help often, and to comfort always. You would see him forget his well-being when there is suffering to be eased. Sometimes, he goes home tired and drained, seeking a quiet place to recharge. It is difficult to understand him when he appears spent and resigned.

He was not always the easiest person to live with. He had these spells of melancholy, as if forever disappointed with himself for failing and falling short. He appeared humbled and self-denying. He always tiptoed around other people’s lives, careful not to disturb, reluctant, ever the observant wallflower, always watching, always ready to offer the helping hand. Some describe him proactive. He found it easy to see what was needed, because he always looked for what would help others best and most. But he would never intrude. He would never impose. He found prayer in his work, purpose in the people he serves. He found meaning in helping, in healing lives. His daily work is a prayer, an offering to the God he loves.

He loved his wife best, and provided for her and her parents without complaint. He loved her unconditionally, and supported her in her dreams. He was always quietly proud of her accomplishments – her vision to protect lives through life insurance, and her drive to serve the school as a bridge bringing lives together onward. He was content seeing her bloom and flourish. He was most proud of her for raising four fine gentlemen.

He loved his sons next, always seeking to be a shining example of what it means to be a man for others.

He loved M**1 for his quiet determination. He saw in you much of himself. He worries about you when it appears that because much talent was given to you, much also is entitled to you. No, not entitlement, but expectation. He expected excellence because the world needs an example of excellence shared with others. To you he passes this beacon of light.

He loved M**2 for his inquisitive mind. In you, he remembered how it was to be curious. He was glad that you grew up like your mother, always asking questions, insistent on answers, always searching for what is true. Most important to your father, you always insisted on searching for what is right. It is this pureness of spirit that your father treasures most. It is this that he guarded whenever he appeared to be very stern with you. To you he passes his dreams, his ideals, and the certainty that you would make him proud.

He loved M**3 for his gentle soul. Of your brothers, you are the stable rock, the base, the solid foundation of peace. Your father sees in you the peace he desires for himself. From your quiet hugs, he derives much strength and love. He wishes that you would eat more, so that your inner strength may be matched with your outward appearance. To you he passes his desires, knowing that you would calmly carry on with much love.

He loved M**4 for the joy that bubbles from his heart. He knows you, of all your brothers, are the provider of happiness and love. Your father takes great pleasure in seeing you smile, and seeing how you make people laugh. Your dedication to climbing walls and conquering jungle gyms are remarkable. He wished you continue to pursue life with this vigor. Your passion is the salt of this family. You give flavor to our lives.

He wished his boys, not to follow in his footsteps as a doctor, but to be the best they can be at whatever vocation they choose. He believed that the effort spent on being the best would allow them to help others more. It is effort that he praised, not outcome. He taught that effort, supported by honest discernment, is what the world needs. It is expected that they would help all others more. Quiet and insistent, he tried to guide them into always choosing the good, and striving to avoid what could hurt others. He knew that he was sometimes tough and uncompromising. He made mistakes. He accepted these mistakes, acknowledged them, and shared his regret with his sons. In quiet moments, he pulled each boy aside and opened his heart.  How different he is with his sons!

So this is the story of his life. There is not much here that is spectacular or extraordinary. In fact it was a special life because it was so ordinary. He knew that his life was borrowed. He strove to give it meaning, so when it was time to return it, God would find it good. He knew his life was a gift. A gift given unasked and unadorned. A gift to be returned much better than how it was found.

In his last moments, his thoughts would certainly not have been of himself, but of the people he would leave behind. We knew his love – and he loved us so much – because we felt it in his gentle hands, his quiet words, and his encompassing heart. Consistent with how he lived his life, he wanted to leave as quietly as he came, without fuss or fanfare, surrounded by family and loved ones.

I know heaven awaits him eagerly, but knowing him and his reluctance, he would definitely need your prayers to push him along.

Thank you for being here today.