I wanted to share the eulogy that gave at his service yesterday. There is a hole in my heart.
My Darling Daniel. That’s how I addressed all my cards to him and he called me his one and only. And I know that’s true - he lived it and proved it everyday.
I needed to speak today because I need all of you to understand what the world has lost. What his parents and brother have lost, what his children have lost and what I have lost. A few people thought speaking today might be too much for me - to that Dan says “have you met my wife?”
Daniel was the single greatest person I have ever met. I loved him and I hope he knows and understands that. We had a lifetime planned but only got six years. Luckily for me I have my children for that lifetime.
Daniel was a son, father, brother, cousin, nephew, son-in-law, brother-in-law, grandson, friend and my husband
I fell in love when Dan on our 3rd date. That day he showed a strength of character that is rarely seen. The third time we were supposed to go out I tried to cancel because my brother Jeremy’s cat was dying in Burlington and I needed to go and be there. Dan immediately told me he would drive me. I protested that it would be an odd situation because of the cat and that my mother has no idea he existed. He said it would be fine so I accepted. He drove out there, watched as I held my cat, brought flowers for my mom, and then when we had finished dinner he realised Raffi had died. He immediately consoled me and took me out for a walk.This sound small but showed a tremendous amount of compassion for a person he barely knew who was devastated over the death of their cat. That is who Daniel was. I knew immediately that I would be able to count on him no matter what - through what ever happened. And I was right. That is what makes this especially hard.
The greatest gifts he gave me are our three children and he was an amazing father. They made his face light up. And you all know that thousand watt smile of his.
Jacob- You are so like him in many ways. I see his generosity and compassion in you. The very first time I meet a your Dad he showed me a picture of you and you should have seen him face when he showed it me. He was was so proud of you. Learning how to ride a bike this summer, reading Harry Potter with you was the highlight of his life for over a year, putting the duck away, your hats and the special sense of humour you shared. For example. Labeling ice cream in the freezer “Babba’s Soup” so I wouldn’t know you two had bought it.
Jeremy- Your dad often would just spontaneously say - you are so darn cute. He delighted in watching you eat. He actually often used to entertain people by feeding you various food and telling them to watch. And entertaining it was. Not may under twos enjoy calamari, fish, jerk chicken, curry, haggis and herring etc the list goes on. There is no doubt you inherited your dad passion for food and I can’t wait until you start cooking food for me.
J3- the one that Daddy only met through ultra sound pictures, my growing bump and the kicks that he finally got to feel on thurs night. I know your daddy’s spirit will be with me everyday of your life.
I wanted to mention some highlights from Daniel life to show what an extraordinary individual he was.
1. Music - you can’t talk about Dan without talking about music. He loved music.I was amazed when I discovered what a talented musician Dan was. He could play almost any song by ear on his clarinet. When he found out how impressed I was by that talent he said “should have done that on the first date- that would have been it.”
2. Family- Family was everything to Dan. This included blood and non-blood related individuals, Dan bestowed the title family to many people. There was no differentiation between his side and my side. It was a collective. He supported me through the passing of my grandparents. He called his Mother every morning. So his brother learned from him and called her every night. His children were his greatest delight. He would do anything for family.
3.Travel. Before we met Dan hadn’t had the opportunity to travel much. I soon changed that and the bug firmly took hold. We went on a cruise, then Aruba, Israel, Alaska, England, Calgary, Edmonton and the Dominican. We had so many more trips planned.
4. Food. The Haggis and the Herring. His blog. Well not just his blog but our house. We call ourselves the Haggis and the Herring - a nod to our heritages. The night we went into labour with Jeremy we actually had haggis and herring for dinner. Certainly not your typical combination but at first glance neither were Dan and I.
I need to mention some imperfections - lest you all believe he was too perfect- or rather things that we had “discussions” about as my grandparents would say . His idiosyncrasy made much of how he was. The pacing- something he and his brother share and something which Amanda and I hope I children DON’T inherit, he could be a dog with a bone at times worrying at something that long ago should have been dropped, his refusal to wear anything but jeans- we had a battle every single time a dress up event approached. My solution was to schedule a meeting with him in his calendar in advance to discuss his wardrobe. He refused to understand that I wasn’t disorganised I just wasn’t his style of organized.
Sensitive, compassionate, always ready to help. He lifted me up. He believed in me and us and life when I couldn’t. When we lost our two babies, when we celebrated Jacobs milestones and Jeremy arrival and the hundreds of thousand little moments that we celebrated. and he was my rock. That final Friday - his very favorite special night- we did get one great last moment- maybe half an hour before he died, where he told me he loved me and that everything was going to be ok.
I would like to read from our Ketubah- because this is really truly how we lived and sums up all I am trying to say about Dan.
"Today I love you completely, as I did yesterday and as I will tomorrow. I will be there for you when you need me most.” We will always try to be understanding and forgiving, sensitive to each other's needs and feelings. We will be there for each other in times of need as in times of celebration. We will share in each other's hopes and dreams and support each other to achievements great and small and through all of life's setbacks. May our hearts be united forever in faith and hope. Let our home be built on understanding and loving-kindness. May our home be rich with wisdom and reverence. May we always keep these words in our hearts as a symbol of our eternal commitment to each other: I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine.
Anee L'Dohdee V'Dohdee Lee
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