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Another funeral
Old 05-05-2011, 09:36 PM   #1
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Another funeral

I went to the funeral of the father of the youngest guy in our shop today. He was my age, 56. It was the first funeral I've been to that didn't have a preacher. It was led by his nephew (that I used to work with at the same company) and it mainly consisted of folks coming up and talking about him. I think it was the best funeral I've ever attended and it just reinforced my decision to git out while the gittin was good.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:24 PM   #2
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How true. Preachers often didn't really know the deceased, they are 'good' to lead a prayer or two but those who can give tribute are those who know the person well.

When our age mates start passing we start to re-evaluate how we want to spend our remaining days.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:44 AM   #3
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When our age mates start passing we start to re-evaluate how we want to spend our remaining days.
Aside from the part where we wish we'd spent more time with our mates before they started passing...
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:52 AM   #4
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Aside from the part where we wish we'd spent more time with our mates before they started passing...
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:21 AM   #5
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When our age mates start passing we start to re-evaluate how we want to spend our remaining days.
I've started doing this now that I'm just on the other side of 40, which I know sounds rather young to be contemplating one's mortality. However, as I've climbed the ladder in various companies, took on more responsibilities in professional organizations, and excelled at my hobbies, I'm beginning to question why I do the things that I do.

Like many young people, my original motivation was to do what other people were doing to "fit in." That motivation morphed into doing what other people are doing to stay "on the path" for my career (law). Yet as I grew older, I realized that "fitting in" is overrated, and that staying on the path means "the view never changes" (as in, if you're not the lead sled dog, the view never changes. ).

Does this sound like a mid-life crisis? Shudder....

Edit: It probably isn't a mid-life crisis, as I'm going to visit my grandfather who is turning 100 in a few days.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:45 AM   #6
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I went to the funeral of the father of the youngest guy in our shop today. He was my age, 56. It was the first funeral I've been to that didn't have a preacher. It was led by his nephew (that I used to work with at the same company) and it mainly consisted of folks coming up and talking about him. I think it was the best funeral I've ever attended and it just reinforced my decision to git out while the gittin was good.
My father had that type of funeral, I guess. There was a memorial service open to all, in a classroom at the medical school where my father taught. There one of his colleagues eulogized him and listed his accomplishments in medicine. Then those who wished went down to the gravesite and my brother eulogized him on a more personal level. Then afterwards those remaining went over to my mother's house for snacks and conversation.

You would probably feel MUCH better if your gym was like mine. My gym has no child care facilities and it costs a little more than some gyms, so it attracts seniors. Seeing some of those folks in their 80's having a ball and being active and happy is really heartening.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:46 AM   #7
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Edit: It probably isn't a mid-life crisis, as I'm going to visit my grandfather who is turning 100 in a few days.
Wish your grandfather a happy birthday from all of us who are deferring our mid-life crises indefinitely...
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:51 AM   #8
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Wish your grandfather a happy birthday from all of us who are deferring our mid-life crises indefinitely...
Will do. He's a tough old guy.
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:17 PM   #9
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My Dad lasted until 95, and we had a ceremony in the funeral home. Because the preacher did not know him, I gave him a script of all the things I wanted to say but could not without crying. Then I got up and said a few words just to make it personal.

Many of the attendees asked for a copy of the preachers speech because it captured so much of his life! I was so glad that I took the trouble to make it personal. People actually enjoyed his passing! At 95, he was the last of his generation to pass. But it was uplifting.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:15 AM   #10
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I think it was the best funeral I've ever attended and it just reinforced my decision to git out while the gittin was good.
This was one of the motivators for my ER. It really makes you think when you see people that are close to your own age pass away.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:42 AM   #11
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My Dad lasted until 95, and we had a ceremony in the funeral home. Because the preacher did not know him, I gave him a script of all the things I wanted to say but could not without crying. Then I got up and said a few words just to make it personal.

Many of the attendees asked for a copy of the preachers speech because it captured so much of his life! I was so glad that I took the trouble to make it personal. People actually enjoyed his passing! At 95, he was the last of his generation to pass. But it was uplifting.
The hardest thing I've EVER done was delivery a eulogy for a friend who died suddenly in his early 50s. I agonized over it, but was so relieved to have done it, and printed copies to give to his sisters, brothers, and wife. You did a good thing to have written it all down for him to say.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:30 AM   #12
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You did a good thing to have written it all down for him to say.
Here is the copy:
In My Eyes
I still tear up when I read it!
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:47 AM   #13
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Oh, Keith, that is really beautiful. And such a tribute to a simple life, well-lived. Very nice. Thank you so much for sharing.
Your posting made me think again of my eulogy for Bobby. Although it is not so poetic, I also tear up upon re-reading it. I'm less of a writer than you, I regret.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:55 PM   #14
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My Dad lasted until 95, and we had a ceremony in the funeral home. Because the preacher did not know him, I gave him a script of all the things I wanted to say but could not without crying. Then I got up and said a few words just to make it personal.

Many of the attendees asked for a copy of the preachers speech because it captured so much of his life! I was so glad that I took the trouble to make it personal. People actually enjoyed his passing! At 95, he was the last of his generation to pass. But it was uplifting.
So nice that you did this so well. You will always be glad.

I am like you, I feel things intensely, but I cannot really get up and talk because I will cry. Your solution will perhaps help me in the future.

Ha
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:30 PM   #15
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... it just reinforced my decision to git out while the gittin was good.

Yup. Me too!
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:15 PM   #16
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My father was eulogized by one of his fellow masons. I thought it was quite well done. I don't think the eulogist knew my father personally, but he knew something of his life (or else, conceivably, my father had written the eulogy himself).
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:36 AM   #17
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My father retired at age 59-on a reduced DB plan. His job was stressful, his health was poor. He came back from medical leave, worked a week, and then decided it was time. He had also learned that the average lifespan of an pensioner in his company (railway) was something like 67.4 years. I am convinced that he would not have survived until his normal retirement age of 65 had he continued on the job and with the same lifestyle.

They sold up, moved to Vancouver (beside a golf course), occasionally worked a small part time job for a friend. His health improved overnight as did his golf-which they did 3 days a week. He drew a pension for the next 30 years, enjoyed good heath and a great lifestyle. After he passed away, my mother continued to get that pension for another 3 years.

Oddly enough, I was retired at the same age and ready for it finanically and otherwise. I just hope that I can enjoy the same great lifestyle for the same length of time
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:48 AM   #18
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I think families of railroad workers will confirm those working conditions. Years ago it was a decent place to work, in the last 25 it has been awful. I have had occasion to talk to a VP on the edge, a clerk, and a conductor (who committed suicide) confirming this.
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:58 AM   #19
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My father retired at age 59-on a reduced DB plan. His job was stressful, his health was poor. He came back from medical leave, worked a week, and then decided it was time. He had also learned that the average lifespan of an pensioner in his company (railway) was something like 67.4 years. I am convinced that he would not have survived until his normal retirement age of 65 had he continued on the job and with the same lifestyle.

They sold up, moved to Vancouver (beside a golf course), occasionally worked a small part time job for a friend. His health improved overnight as did his golf-which they did 3 days a week. He drew a pension for the next 30 years, enjoyed good heath and a great lifestyle. After he passed away, my mother continued to get that pension for another 3 years.

Oddly enough, I was retired at the same age and ready for it finanically and otherwise. I just hope that I can enjoy the same great lifestyle for the same length of time
Great story. I also hope that you have a primo trip like your Dad.

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Old 05-21-2011, 03:01 PM   #20
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This particular railway was, or at least it was 35 odd years ago, a first rate employer who treated their employees well and provided opportunities for advancement. The provided me with wonderful summer employment during my university years. I got union pay and lots of overtime on the 'spare board'. So much so that my parents never had to pay a dime towards my out of town university education. And of course I got free and unlimited train transportion from university to home anytime that I wanted. I suspect that these days are long gone.
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