So much of what goes on the Internet is of the 'Hey, look at me' variety. Well, I've decided to dedicate this page to my father, Geoff, just to give whoever sees it, some small idea of the fine man he was. As a precis, here's the Eulogy I wrote for his funeral:
Geoff was devoted to many things and many people, but above all to his family. His devotion as a husband, a son and as a father was absolute and whatever other causes he fought for, these always cames after family. In his work, from his beginnings as an apprentice coach body maker to his job as inspector for the council, only his best was good enough. As a craftsman, proud of his work, there was never any cutting of corners or taking the easy option. The devotion to his job was matched by that to his fellow workers. As a Socialist and Trade Unionist, he would fight for the rights of others, even to the detriment of his own career. This showed outside the workplace too, both officially during his time as a parish councillor and in his letterwriting campaigns on behalf of the elderly, disabled and disadvantaged.
In response to these words, Geoff would probably say "Oh do leave it out!".. or words to that effect. He was no lover of pomp or ceremony. He preferred the funnier side of life and had a well-developed sense of humour. Sometimes deadpan, sometimes blue, but always razor-sharp. Coupled with this was his irreverence towards authority in all its forms. It's a rare occasion when the Duke Of Rutland is greeted with "Wotcha Duke!", as he was when Geoff met him
As there were many sides to Geoff's life, so there were many aspects to his love. The deep love for his family was shown for the world to see, both his immediate family and his family in Germany, where his loss is also deeply felt. He had a profound love for his fellow man and woman, matched only by his hatred of bigotry in all its forms. And he loved life itself, with the supreme irony being that he never got to enjoy the retirement he was so looking forward to.
Though Geoff was not one for the trite or for cliches, he did agree with the phrase: "No-one dies until you forget them." With all the wonderful memories that he has left everyone here, he will definitely live on in so many hearts and souls for always.
It may not say much, but it was all the words I could find on the evening before his funeral. His ashes were scattered under a tree with no headstone or monument, close to nature where he was happiest. I found this poem shortly after he died and it seemed beautifully appropriate. It's helped me and I reproduce it here for anyone else dealing with a loss.
Do not stand at my grave and
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight;
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there; I did not die.