Tuesday, January 03, 2006

good people, great guy

Jim's memorial service was today. The family asked me to read my online journal entry from the 23rd, which kind of blew my mind. It was very humbling to be asked.

One of them joked today, before the service, "I just know that you'll start to cry when you're reading, and that will give everyone permission to crack and cry along with you. It's an important function you perform."

People said wonderful things about him, not surprising, because he really was a great guy. In fact, it seemed general consensus that he was the quintessential "great guy".

His daughter spoke about what a loving father he was; about lying under the piano, as a kid, when he played; about the time he joined in a diving contest at the cottage in his underwear and protested in classic Jim style "What's the big deal? It's not like my wazoo was hanging out!"; about his great cooking, his sky-high Yorkshire puddings; about how he never quite loved himself as much as everyone else did.

I know this often happens after people die, but I can't believe he is gone. I've known him for so long, and he had so much energy and life in him, his absence doesn't register in my brain.

At the reception afterward, eating those special butter-and-mayo-with-flecks-of-tuna/ham/chicken no-crust funeral sandwiches with everyone else, I just kept expecting him to show up. His eldest daughter observed "Yeah, this is his crowd, his whole family and all his friends are here, he would have had a great time!"


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