This father’s day I am sharing the eulogy I gave at my father’s cremation:
Sometimes you spend your whole life searching for greatness only to realize one day that you have been living in its shadow all along.
My father was a great man.
Growing up I just assumed that everyone had amazing, loving and caring parents. And a father they could look up to and respect. I loved spending time with my father. He was my idol much before I knew it. I will admit that I never had him wrapped around my little finger like my sister did, but I had an amazing relationship with him. We were truly lucky because it turns out not too many people have fathers like him.
We take so many things for granted in this life, like believing that our parents will always be around. Like not telling them each day how much we love them and how amazing they are, because we think we can always put it off till tomorrow, or the day after.
My father was a great man.
He was my hero and my mentor. He set the high standards to which I hold myself. He set the bar both for the level of professionalism in my career and the politeness in my life. He was my yardstick for integrity, honour and unwavering principles. Never compromise on your beliefs. Never waver in the face of great obstacles. Never succumb to external pressure. Always fight for what you know is right, no matter the odds, or the personal cost. Those were not mere words or idioms to him, but how he lived his life.
The world needs more men like my father. My father was a great man.
Dad was by no means the talker in our family; in fact many would say that he was a man of few words. But when he spoke he was wise. He always seemed to have the right answer and solution to every problem. He seemed to know exactly how to handle delicate situations and bring down the tension in the room.
I can still hear him say, when I sought his counsel about complex situations at work (which was often), “Son you need to think about this rationally. Remove the emotion from it, and look for the logical answer” – and he was right.
I will miss being able to seek his counsel, among all the other things we will miss about Dad.
However, something struck me last night as I thought about my Dad’s passing, and how much I will miss him. It struck me that the impact he made on all the lives he touched was so great that he seems to have left a part of himself behind in each one of us. As a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend, a boss, a colleague and most of all, as a father - he will never be forgotten.
I truly believe he made us all better people by awakening a sense of duty, honour and integrity within us. And I know that I embody all the virtues and values that my father held dear, with perhaps the exception of humility. I know that if I can be half the man he was then I will make him proud.