- May 4, 2017
- Posted by: Phil Block
- Category: Passages
This is the second memorial post in remembrance of my father-in-law, Jack Harris. The first is Remembering Jack Harris.
My wife Kathy and I traveled to the small Upper Peninsula town of Ontonagon, MI to attend the funeral of her father, Jack Harris. To many, he was a giant of a man, but all that’s left now are the memories of his family and friends and his remaining personal possessions. The images below illustrate some of the tributes to his memory.
Sunday, April 30, 2017
This morning the family met at the Cane Funeral Home to pay their respects. It was a somber but essential step in the grieving process. In his or her own way, each family member is going through the process of saying their last goodbyes to a man who influenced us all. We will remember him for the rest of our lives, as we will recall the moment when the entire family held hands and said the Lord’s Prayer in front of his casket.
Monday, May 1, 2017
Jack’s funeral was held at 11:00 this morning at Holy Family Catholic Church in Ontonagon. Afterwards, a luncheon was served to those in attendance.
Monday evening, the family gathered in the living room of the Harris household before a table laden with an assortment of Jack’s mementos. Many handcrafted woodwork items he made were there, along with coin collections and various souvenirs. Names were drawn from a bowl and each person got to choose something on the table to remember him by. Enough items were there to permit three rounds of picks for each of the sixteen family members present. Each time my name was drawn, I gave away my picks to Kathy, my son Dale, and my daughter Julie. My gift from Jack was his camera equipment, which I requested in advance.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
The day after Jack’s funeral, the small flower arrangements in the photo at the top of this post were created in china tea cups using funeral flowers sent by friends in Jack’s memory.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
In the end, all that remains of a once-vital human life are remnants. For the lucky ones, life’s great and small events are preserved in photographs; maybe even voice recordings. In my case, I have saved answering machine messages left during phone calls from both of Kathy’s parents and some from her siblings. Journals may store written thoughts. Calendars and appointment books document day-to-day activity. Books are reminders of a person’s places, positions, interests and capabilities. But in the end, all that remains are physical remnants and memories in the minds of friends, family, and acquaintances. With the passage of time, even photos and memories fade. Life arrives, matures, is shared with others, and eventually passes for us all.