Janet Kira Lessin April 7, 1999
My husband found the eulogy I wrote for my father in 1999. I was devastated by my father’s death. Even though it’s 24 years later, it still hurts. I thought it was quite ironic that my husband found this right now. My father and mother are always with me. I feel them by my side, watching over me, gently guiding me through life from the other side.
When I was very young I often caught my mother talking to her mother, who was a ghost. Her mother, my grandmother, would watch me from the foot of my bed. I felt her watching me, and thought it was a bit creepy at the time, but in hindsight she was my guardian and watch over me, a child she had never met as she died before I was born.
My daddy was my best friend in life. Without him I don’t think I would have survived my teens. He walked me down the aisle when I got married at 31 to my second husband. He also signed for me to marry my first husband when I was only 16. My father always supported my decisions, even though I didn’t always make the best choices. He loved me so much he allowed me to make my own mistakes. He was always there to talk, hug or even slip me a couple of bucks. Whatever I needed, he was there for me. I miss you daddy. I’ll always love you. And I know you’ll be waiting for me when I get to the other side.
With my Father’s passing, I am now an orphan. I struggle to explain the depth of this pain that I am now experiencing. With Mother’s passing a year and a half ago, there was this sense of still being connected to her, that while Dad was here and she was there, she was being drawn to this side of the veil to interact with us, spiritually, energetically.
Yes, there were the emotions,,the sense of loss, the sadness with Mom’s death. But this is different. This pain is so profound. I am now an orphan. Both are gone.
In our society we celebrate the rites of passage from childhood to adulthood by events and rituals; First Holy Communion, Bar Mtvahs, a girl’s first period makes her a woman, a first drink when you turn 21. Yet there is no celebration when we make the transition from childhood to elderhood.
Perhaps instead of viewing the death of both parents as a loss, we can celebrate their lives, yes, but also mark another major event. The baton is passed, we, the children are now fully grown adults, fully actualized and we have become the elders. At last, I am WISE.
It is said that when we die we go through life reviews. Certainly since Father’s death on Easter Sunday I have been going through a similar review of my life that I shared with Dad. It is also said that souls hover for at least three days before they go over to the Bardo, even attending their funerals.
I know that Dad is here now watching all who have gathered this day to honor him. While I am not able to be there in person, I am most definitely there in spirit.
Knowing that Dad can hear what is being said today, I would like to say the following:
Daddy, I love you. I appreciate all the times you were there for me. There are so many. I remember when I was about 5 my best fiiend told me that she would no longer be my best friend. You held me and comforted me as I cried because my heart was broken, feeling rejection for perhaps the first time in my life. You acknowledged that I was emotional, sensitive. You didn’t make me wrong for it, didn’t try to “fix” me or the situation, just acknowledged it and held me, allowing the tears to flow. Thank you.
Some of my earliest memories involve your love and dedication to your work. I loved how you would sneak me into the post office to “help” you sort the mail. You would take me on your route and let me put mail in the boxes, even though I could barely reach, even though it was “forbidden” by the “rules”. It was our secret. Thank you.
When I was small, you would hold me and ask me, “how much do you love me”, and I would respond, “this much” as I spread my arms out as wide as they would go. We would then laugh and giggle, hugging one another.
As I grew, you would drive me anywhere and everywhere I wanted to go; to the roller rink in summer, the ice skating rink in winter, the swimming pool, shopping. You were my personal chauffeur and you were so joyful in your role!
As I look back on it I can’t believe how you would give me your charge card and trusted me to go downtown with my girlfriend and buy clothes at the fancy department stores so I would have a decent wardrobe to go back to school. You always gave me a limit. And when I would go over, you never complained, just smiled.
You always wanted me to look nice, even though our income was limited. I never had to be embarrassed at school. As a teenager people thought I was a little rich girt, you made certain that I was dressed so fine. Thank you Daddy.
I appreciated how you and Mom allowed me to have teenage parties at the house, and noisy slumber parties, and sleep-outs in the back yard. You trusted me even though the boys were there. Thank you for your faith in me.
Amazingly, you didn’t hassle me when I started dating pretty young. You trusted my judgment and allowed me to do as I wanted, even if I made mistakes. When I met my first husband, you supported my decision when I wanted to get married young (I was 16). You allowed my first husband to come live with us! I’m not sure I would do that myself,. Thank you, Dad. You showed your love to me in so many ways throughout my life.
You were always so generous with everything you had. You bought me a color TV when I was 12, back in 1966 when they were so expensive. I got to see every episode of the original “Star Trek” in color! Thank you, Daddy, what a blessing!
When I was 16 and had my driver’s permit, you tried to teach me how to drive on your 1962 Chevy 11 and I had such a hard time learning because it was a stick shift and I couldn’t reach the pedals and steer or see at the same time. ‘
So what did you do? I wanted to drive so bad. You went way out on the limb financially and bought me a car! On top of it being just what I wanted, it was a much newer car than yours; a 1966 Dodge Dart! I was able to get my license by spring of that year. Thank you, Daddy.
When my girlfriend was having difficulties at home because her step-father chased her around trying to get in her pants, you understood and allowed her to come live with us as your foster daughter. You didn’t know her very well, but because I wanted it and I loved my friend, you supported me and opened your home to her.
You encouraged me in so many ways; bought me piano lessons when I was I0, and oil painting lessons when I was 18. 1 didn’t stick with either of them, but you supported me in my exploration in trying to discover who I was.
When I wanted a fancy white wedding for my second marriage, you were there for me walking down the aisle and not hassling me because I was obviously not a virgin. You encouraged me to be an individual and make my own decisions. You even bought the dress for me! What a wonderful Father!
Through the years, you gave so much, to me, to my brother and sister. So much, in fact, that you had to declare bankruptcy. Absurd when I look back on it, yet perfect in the grand design.
You and Mom tried to die on my 38′ birthday seven years ago. It would have been so easy for you both to leave then. But I sense you felt we, the children were not ready at that time. Thank you for sticking around. I many ways I’ll never be ready for your deaths, but now I seem better able to cope.
When I decided to move to Hawaii 5 1/2years ago, you were supportive, even though it meant we wouldn’t see each other much anymore. You didn’t guilt-trip me to stay where I was not happy. Thank you. I have now found myself and my life’s path. Thank you for allowing me the freedom to express and explore life as I choose.
I think you would be proud of me, Dad. I know it may have been rough not having me around during your final years. Lord knows I have missed not being there in your life. But being here in Hawaii has been the best thing for me in terms of my personal growth and for my education in helping me to develop skills that will best serve myself and the world.
I am a psychotherapist now, helping others with their healing. I teach tantra education, allowing beloveds to go deeper in their relationships and enjoy and appreciate their lovemaking by helping them to discover the connection between spirituality and sexuality. I do workshops and seminars all over the world. I just got published Dad! It’s just an article in a magazine for now, but the book is soon to follow.
I have a wonderful husband. I know you would love him. He’s so brilliant, educated, handsome, and intelligent. He’s Dr. Lessin, Daddy. Your baby girt married a doctor!
Finally, I’ve felt you and mother by my side these past few nights. I know you want us “kids”, me, Louise and Billy, to lay down our swords unilaterally and forgive one another and just focus on the love that is there, before that too, may become a situation where it will be “too late”.
I’ve also had to look at what it means to be “close”. Some may say that our family is not really “close”. While I may have not interacted much with you in person the past few years, or even on the phone, I realize now with your passing how “close” we have always been.
The five of us souls are intensely connected. Mom, Dad, Louise, Bill, you are my family, not only here in the physical sense and of the ego level, but you are my eternal spiritual family that I will “feel” and sense and love eternally.
I love you Daddy. I miss you. Now reach for Mom’s golden hand and go gently into the light. Amen.