Not long after I wrote Dignity, it was decided by my family that I would take responsibility for writing my grandfather’s eulogy.
As I sat down to begin the most tender and wrenching and precious assignment I’ve faced in this life, I was grateful to realize my grandfather’s advice and admonishments rang as clear in my mind as his own voice did when he was still vibrant. I could feel his presence, scolding me out of self-indulgent sentimentality. I could hear his voice and how its quality changed when he was telling a story. I became driven to tell a story too.
George Edward Housty died on December 7, 2013. His life, to the last, was full of ferocious love. The sweetness and comfort our family experienced in his final weeks was a lesson in the reciprocal beauty of kindness. And me, I am blessed with riches beyond count: He knew that I loved him like a little wolf with hunger in its belly, like a fierce little bird trying to reach the top of the sky. And I know that he loved me.
Here is an excerpt from his eulogy, with my thanks to all the strangers who reached out with beautiful, soft, singing words of comfort after my initial post: