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By Maria Jones

Eulogy by Maria Jones (Eldest of Alan and Rita)

I have had time over the past couple of months to reflect on what Dad has meant to me and what I think he has meant to Virginia and the boys  and the feeling that keeps coming up is one of gratitude  gratitude to have been so lucky to experience a deep sense of the really important things in life.

We learnt about kindness and compassion, generosity and hospitality because thats how we saw Dad live his life. We learnt about the innate rights of all people particularly their right to be treated with respect and dignity. He taught us about appreciation of family and friends and the value of loyalty.

Dad gave us a deep sense of our own self worth and his pride in our achievements, the belief that he would always be there for us even in the hard times, respecting our right to make our own choices even if he didnt always agree with them enabled us to grow into people who have the courage to make mistakes, learn from them and to keep growing into the potential we all have as human beings.

He had a deep awareness of and respect for the ordinary in life and I believe to be able to truly appreciate the wonder and importance of the little things, the mundane, the small pleasures is the gift to live well and with happiness.

But perhaps what has most filled me with gratitude is the privilege of seeing Mum and Dad over these last months. The love, the gentleness, the care for the other has helped me to realise that two ordinary people who have lived ordinary lives have developed an extraordinary relationship over the years.

Death brings such grief and sadness to us all and yet it also allows us to realise how much we love and how important and sacred are the people and relationships in our lives. There is also the profound awareness that those we love will never die for they will live on in our thoughts, our dreams, in conversation and in spirit.

So our beautiful Dad go gently on your journey and know we will always love you.

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