A Fond Father's Day Farewell to a Family Patriarch

A Fond Father’s Day Farewell to a Family Patriarch

Sunday Scripture

Yesterday, the earthly remains of my Uncle Paul were committed to the earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The Canadian border is still closed, so I was unable to be there, but my dear Auntie Dawn attended to that by including one of my poems in the program, and it will be beautifully read by one of my cousins. Even so, I have felt my absence all week like a pebble in the shoe.

Many of you have suffered much greater disappointments, losses, and omissions during the past year, so in honor of all our losses, in remembrance of a family patriarch, and in celebration of a coming resurrection that will far out weigh all that we suffer or lament, I will share the poem as my Sunday Scripture post today. “Resurrection” came to be during a week of watching a barn on a nearby country road being dismantled piece by piece.


“As for man, his days are as grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And the place thereof remembers it no more.”  

Psalm 103:15, 16

Every day there are fewer shingles — and more bare roof.
Every day there is less barn and more sky
It becomes clear to us that walls are also passing away,
A melancholy nod to the flowers of the field
Who spend their winters in barn-storage,
The wind having already passed over their flourishing.

There is merit,
(wisdom at least)
In the contemplation of
A barn-less field,
A me-less world:
“Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

But Old Testament poets notwithstanding,
There will be a Second Wind,
Who will tease mortal hay back into clover, timothy, succulent greens;
Stir the dry bones;
Reconstitute my known frame, while that Living Wind whispers,

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you,


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55 thoughts on “A Fond Father’s Day Farewell to a Family Patriarch”

  1. Sorry for your loss, Michele. Your poem is beautiful and caused me to sit and think a bit of that coming Resurrection day! May God bring His comfort to all of your family as our God’s peace and comfort knows no bounds (nor borders).


  2. I’m sorry for your loss, Michele! Your poem is a beautiful tribute to the resurrection when we will all be made alive again through Christ!


  3. I’m so sorry for your loss, Michele. These travel restrictions are rough. I’m glad you were included, even if you couldn’t be there in person. I lost my favorite aunt during the pandemic.


  4. Oh my. Such beautiful artistry with wrods, Michele. Thought-provoking, sobering yet encouraging. Praise God that even old barns may cling to hope in the resurrection–with absolute assurance!


  5. I’m sorry for the loss of your uncle and your not being able to be there. The barn dismantling reminds me of an old song that talked about not needing “this old house” much longer. Deaths and funerals have a way of bringing that home to us, of teaching us to number our days.


  6. There is a barn just down the road from me that has been given up to the ravages of time. In this case, Kudzu is softening the landscape by encapsulating the barn. Somehow it is striking to drive by and notice each year how much less the barn is and how much more the plant growth is.
    So sorry you couldn’t be at the celebration of your uncle’s life; but how fitting your poem was there!


  7. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your uncle. Your poem is so beautiful and poignant and I love the way it ends with the hope of resurrection. How lovely that it was included in your uncle’s memorial service so you could be a part of it in that way although I’m sorry that you weren’t able to be there in person. #mischiefandmemories


  8. I’m sorry for your loss, Michele. Your words are comforting and inspiring. They’ve helped me refocus this morning on what is truly important.


  9. What a beautiful poem, Michele – very thought-provoking a reassuring. It’s a beautiful tribute to your Uncle Paul. I’m so sorry for your loss, and that you could not be at the funeral. Thinking of you and your family as you grieve. God bless you.


  10. So sorry for your loss but I love the words of wisdom that you shared in this post. Our days are numbered but we can do so much with them… Thanks for linking up with #MischiefAndMemories


  11. Beautiful poem, Michele, and such a wonderful tribute to your family patriarch. I am so sorry to hear of your loss and even more so that you could not be with your family during this time. But what a powerful way to celebrate your uncle’s life with your amazing words. Thanks for sharing.



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