Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Fallen Tower of Strength

Tower of Strenght

Tomorrow I am going to a funeral. It is not unexpected - the older gentleman in question had been in palliative care for some time. When last I saw him, he was very frail, his bones weakened by multiple myeloma. A particularly cruel diagnosis for a man whom I have always thought of as a tower of strength. I did not know him well, for he was not a communicative man; but I had the honour and pleasure of serving with him on a board of which he was President.

Physically tall and powerful, he was the volunteer all non-profits dream of. He did not enjoy long meetings or impractical chatter, so any meeting he chaired was likely to be short and result in useful action. While he was often impatient of dithering, his old-fashioned courtesy rarely faltered during the meeting itself, although what he said afterwards might be another matter. He made unpopular decisions, where necessary, with courage and carried them through with determination. He never allowed politics to blind him to the good of the community, and he achieved much for us in a relatively short time, shepherding us through difficult transitions with grace and humility.

I am grateful to have known him and to be able to enjoy the fruits of his labour. May his memory be a blessing.


Update: I met the bereaved mother in the gym again, and had the opportunity to apologise. She was very gracious and kind. A classy lady. Thanks to all who absolved me of guilt.

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