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Kevin Ellis George

23/03/23  –  09/01/14

 

My father has left this ‘vale of tears’ – taken the light of his wisdom, his laughter, his intelligence and his love – to another realm.  In that place, I know his light will continue to shine and expand and his soul will reflect on the learning of his 90 years, the insights he gained, his vast achievements, his good fortune, and perhaps, his regrets. And  then, in time, he will decide to return. He will choose to reconnect with those us who have been traveling through lifetimes with him – and we will live and love together again.   But for now, in this world there is an aching hole, where memories, words, images, a lifetime of them, slip in and out – insubstantial, ethereal, elusive, now the flesh and blood man who created them has departed.  And yet they are not. They are real. They are streams of energy,  as real as the energy that swirls in the molecules of my body, sitting here, pretending to be solid.  My memories of my father, his many words of wisdom, his understanding  of truth, his unconditional love, the significance of his well-lived life – are part of me…….as much a part of me and as real as my entire life up to this moment. For what is this life I’ve lived, but a memory??  We are all as insubstantial as ghosts.  We are all a composite of stories and memories of the past. Death simply removes the illusion of the security and continuance of form – and replaces it with truth.

So Dad, my tears and the sadness I feel about losing you, are natural and right – my  heart and body’s response to the knowledge that I will never see you or hear your voice again, seek out your wise counsel, listen to your stories, stand in admiration of your courage. You, my father, the man, are lost to me for as long as I will live.  Grief is hard, it hurts. Yet I know without a shadow of doubt that the enormity of your life and your large soul interlaces with my own.  It always has, but now your form has gone, I feel the energy of who you were more keenly.  My children embody so much of you – your lifetime in aviation, building and design – they each have a share of your special talents. And I have your words, your love of philosophy and spirituality, your  understanding of the continuation of life, of karma and reincarnation, your disdain for petty authority. You were a freedom fighter, you stood up for what was right and to hell with the consequences – you were never afraid to speak your truth, to stand up for the underdog, to take absolute responsibility for yourself, your family, your health, the business of life.  You had a deep regard for your ancestors, our forebears, who gifted us with their struggles and triumphs.  And now, with your inspiration, I will work on embodying your courage, the strength of your will, your endurance and your willingness to give all that you had, to help others without expectation of reward or recognition, and your humility.

I tried to get you to record the stories of your life – but sadly, you never did.  Now all those stories, like your life itself, lie in the domain of our memories.  You had so many.  You always talked about your ‘adventures in the war’ – as if being a bomber Captain with the Royal Air Force in the Mediterranean theatre of WWII,  at barely 20 years of age, was just that – an adventure.  But I remember you telling me, with a wistful look in your eye, and a glimmer of tear, that of the 11 fledgling pilots photographed on the deck of the ship bound for Canada in 1941, only four came home. We know you were fast-tracked to become a commissioned officer at such a young age – because they recognized the level of your natural ability as a pilot. That ability stood by you well. You only stopped flying at 87. What an achievement! the oldest flying pilot in New Zealand. And it went, like so many of your distinctions, largely unrecognized.  You always knew, you said, that you had a very good guardian angel. Touche to that.

Well Dad, your guardian angel has called you home. It is our loss. The pain of grief is the price we pay for having had the great good luck to have had you as a father, grandfather, husband, uncle and friend.  You live on in the hearts and minds of all of us. And until we meet up again, in the next world, the next life, fly free – no plane required now, and know that you did the best anyone ever can do in this world – you lived a long, healthy, adventurous, creative, loving life. It was a hell of a success, your big life. And if none of us ever thought to tell you that before, I’m telling you now.  I know you wont be resting in peace – because you will be far too busy being and doing, whatever it is you  do where you are.  Enjoy the freedom!  I know you will. We’ll miss you, we love you  – and thank you, for being my father.

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