Eulogy for Father: Sharing My Memories and Life Lessons

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Speaking on behalf of our family, I want to thank you for your kindness and presence today. My name is Mauri-Lynne, and I am Lionel’s daughter. He had a strong devotion to all of you, and we sincerely appreciate it. We hope that you will share your special memories of him with us, whether it be now or in the future.

Lionel was committed to preserving and protecting Jewish customs, which guided his decisions throughout his life. Traditional music was especially dear to him, and we would often spend hours together listening to his cherished collection of recordings that he amassed over time.

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We discussed our duties as Jews, both spiritually and communally, especially in our relationship with G-d. According to Jewish mystics, all that would exist in the future was already present within the Creator as a limitless potentiality before creation. The Creator then formed vessels to channel its divine energy and give form to specific attributes like wisdom, compassion, kindness, and strength. However, the intensity of the transmitted energy caused the vessels to break apart.

According to belief, certain fragments of divine energy fell to earth as sparks and have remained there for a long time. We share the belief that it is one of our main responsibilities to repair the world in the eyes of G-d. This process is known as tikkun olam in Hebrew. We achieve this by carrying out prescribed mitzvot or acts of goodness. Each mitzvah or honorable act is believed to elevate those divine sparks. Traditional teachings indicate that with the completion of this repair, the Messianic Age will be brought forth. Among the many mitzvot, the performance of acts of loving-kindness, also known as chesed, is regarded as highly significant.

My father had a strong understanding of this religious duty and it greatly influenced his life. Each one of you is present today because you have all personally witnessed my father’s various acts of kindness, care, and generosity. Several months ago, during a late-night TV show, I watched as the songwriter/singer Billy Joel captivated a college audience. When questioned about one of his songs, he revealed that its inspiration came from his young daughter’s inquiry about death and what occurs to individuals after they pass away.

He stated that they penetrate the hearts of their loved ones. Observe the individuals close by and witness my father’s empathy mirrored in their gaze. My father comprehended the importance of creating an impact through one’s own deeds. Nonetheless, being his sole daughter was not always effortless. Similar to numerous men from the Greatest Generation, he embraced placing individual obligations above pursuing personal contentment. Enduring the Great Depression and World War II during his upbringing allowed minimal opportunity for introspection.

After enduring previous hardships such as the untimely demise of his father, he managed to overcome them and move forward. He successfully finished his studies at Syracuse University, married my mother, and transformed into the remarkable individual that all of you knew and admired – a language expert, a dedicated community advocate, a caring father, and a beloved friend. He seldom spoke about those early years unless specifically prompted and even then he never directly disclosed details about them. Instead, he would share fragments and glimpses of his earlier life through amusing anecdotes or brief moments. However, despite his exceptional linguistic abilities, expressing affection towards me was an almost insurmountable challenge for him.

Shortly after being diagnosed and given a bleak prognosis, he wasted no time in taking action. We decided to meet up for brunch at Five Crowns, a beloved spot in Corona del Mar that holds sentimental value as it used to be the only place where we could find a satisfying meal. During our meal, he shared heartfelt stories about his father who passed away prematurely when he was just 9 years old, and the immense pain he endured as a result. He also expressed his deep love for traditional Jewish music and his cherished dog. As we reflected on the hardships of his early years, he spoke about how those experiences shaped him into a resilient individual.

Although I already knew these things, I chose to remain silent and let him delve into the deeply ingrained memories of his past. Despite struggling to reveal his vulnerability, he persisted in sharing the story of his life. Gradually, it became clear that he was passing down his emotional and psychological heritage to me. This was a precious gift, conveying the personal significance of those extraordinary moments that shaped who he is. Despite facing linguistic limitations that seemed insurmountable, we continued to connect with each other. It felt like a critical game of charades where success meant survival; thus, I filled in the gaps in his narrative.

“Yes, Yes, I comprehend,” I responded. The other patrons became indistinct, and amidst the haze, I noticed a young girl on a bicycle with her father close behind, prepared to catch her if she stumbled. “Catch me Daddy. Don’t let me fall.” I held back tears as I drank my champagne. Could I embrace this final demonstration of affection and alleviate his suffering? Could I contain this love without becoming overwhelmed, like the vessels of creation? Inwardly, I uttered a prayer, hoping that my expertise as a therapist would guide me, and absentmindedly shifted the salmon on my plate. Beyond the spoken words, I perceived the love in his gaze, his eyes that reflected mine.

I wanted him to know that I had always recognized his true self; that he was my initial inspiration; that I would forever respect him. Ultimately, our emotions surpassed mere words. His presence conveyed everything I truly needed to understand: that he strived to emulate the father he lost prematurely; that he endured and did his utmost. I believe his love was so profound that it simply transcended language. We sat together side by side for a while, him and me, sipping coffee, promising to return to the restaurant soon, although deep down I knew we never would. I memorized every detail of this final excursion.

The text reflects on various stages of the author’s relationship with their father. They were once a daddy’s girl, and now the author is experiencing sitting with their father as a little boy, a young man, and an aging patriarch. The author also mentions being the little girl on their father’s shoulders, an awkward adolescent, and a mature woman grieving over their father’s death. The text suggests that speech is only a small part of communication, and that love is best revealed through silence. In silence, the author and their father found true devotion and remain joined together spiritually forever.

If you ever want to see my father, search into my eyes, and there he will be. Recently, my fairy godmother, Grace Gold, informed me that life appears like a magnificent dream when reflected upon. Now, I envision what it will be like when we are all reunited. My father will embrace me tightly and joyfully spin me around. The sun will radiate brightly and the tree branches will hang low with ripe fruit. All the people we have ever cherished will be present as well. We will rejoice, share laughter, recount stories, and never again have to count the days. Amen How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation: “Eulogy for Father.” 17 Mar 2013

Cite this page

Eulogy for Father: Sharing My Memories and Life Lessons. (2016, Nov 22). Retrieved from

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