Eulogy For My Grandfather
In trying to write a eulogy for my Grandfather, I searched my memory for happy moments spent between us. A time that I could look back on and remember with fondness; some funny anecdote or vivid picture of something thought-provoking. There were a lot of moments like that in the years I knew him, but the truth of it is that when I try to think about these things, I'm left with a single, iconic image rather than any one story.
In order to understand my Grandfather, you have to understand what he meant to those of us who loved him. To me, Grandad was the "Wise Old Man" of the family. Indeed, as far back as I can remember, my Grandfather had always been old. His hair was white and he watched the CBC with the volume turned up blisteringly high, which was enough to classify anyone as 'old' when you were only six years into this world.
But with that classification came the reverence I have always had for him. Like my father, he placed the value of things like Honour and Conscience above all else. In one breath, he would teach me about what it means to vote in our democracy, and in another would go into the finer details about how that democratic trust had been betrayed. Through our time together, Grandad helped me to see the world from the perspective of someone who'd seen as much as he had, and experienced life in a way I could never have myself.
He had a unique, deep, and far-reaching understanding of how the world works and would share that treasury with anyone interested. He knew so much, had been through so much, the Depression, the War -- and yet he somehow maintained a positive outlook on the world. Somehow, despite all the trials the Universe threw his way, to my Grandad, life was still... "fun". I think that in this way, I have more to learn from him even now.
My Grandfather was what it meant to be a Quinn: tough, stubborn and principled. Characteristics I often see in his son - my father - and myself. I consider it an honour to have had the time together that we had, but I don't regret his passing. His life was long and well-lived, and his legacy is all too evident in those of us who carry his name and memory. So long as we are here, my Grandfather remains.
Goodnight Grandad, and thank you.
My Grandfather died Sunday, February 18th 2007 at 5.30AM. He was 88. He leaves behind his wife of 60years, two children, and a family that loved him very much.