I was lucky enough to meet the love of my life in high-school, but like most teenagers I was too blind to see it, so after 28 years of loving this woman and having our son we recently celebrated our second wedding anniversary. I’ve always fancied myself something of a writer, making my meager living with words, but when a subject of such magnitude as your own son’s eulogy is thrust upon you the limits of your writing talents become glaringly obvious, painfully so in fact. What can a father say about a son like Justin, a son I was blessed with knowing for far too short a time, a time that was cut woefully short due to my own battle with the same demons that took my beautiful son from me.
Justin’s life was about joy and inclusiveness, he loved everyone ,it would have been an act of sheer futility to try to coax a negative comment from him about anyone, a skill we could all use more of particularly in such divisive times. Justin was more than my son he was my buddy, my fellow Wednesday Warrior who would be found by my side almost every Wednesday scouring the racks for new comic books. Everyday my phone would alert me no less than ten times with text messages from Justin usually telling me about some urgent bit of Star Wars news, Marvel or DC clip or maybe it would be some outrageous clip of Alex Jones. Yes Justin was the son of two far left leaning liberal animal loving parents and make no mistake about it he had many furry, finned and feathered friends as well, but one of the things that made him the unique person he was were his differing political views. He had his own opinions that transcended party lines. There was no question about it despite how close this apple fell to the tree, Justin was his own man.
Everyone who knew us commented on how alike Justin and I were, we looked and sounded alike right down to our laughs, we liked the same books, music, TV shows, movies, even food,but in the end God made us a little too similar plaguing us with the same demons of depression and anxiety. While my struggle continues my son is now at peace, a peace I will never know until I am holding him in my arms again to say Justin, my son I love you and I always have and I always will.
Many people will leave here today with their favorite memories of Justin fresh in their minds but I ask you to use those memories to inspire you to treat the ones you love a little better today because we are not guaranteed tomorrow and it’s not how we treat those we love in death that really matters but in life while they are here with us. I know he is looking down on this gathering and smiling that crooked smile of his because he knows beyond a doubt that he is loved and as long as I draw breath I will tell him everyday, Justin, my sweet boy, my wonderful son I love you.
Some people are Marvel fans and then there are those who prefer DC comics, everyone has their favorite hero ;Spiderman, Wonder Woman, Thor or Batman but my hero was 130 pound giant of a human being with a soul as bright as the stars and a heart that could smash through the most impenetrable hate, armed only with a razor-sharp wit, a penetrating intellect and the power to love his fellow-man, my hero is my son, Justin and now his patrol has ended. Robert Clancy said” We all have the capacity to be a superhero. In order to become one, you just have to find your unique power or ability and exploit it for the greater good. The cape and mask are optional accessories, but a kind heart is essential.” And Justin had one of the kindest, anyone who knew him for more than five minutes fell under the spell of his easy laid back persona, Saint Augustine wrote, “It was pride that changed angels into devils but, it is humility that makes man angels.” Justin was humble to a fault he would much rather put the spotlight on someone else than grab it for himself. So it’s only fitting for an old Irishman to close with an old Irish prayer, ” May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, And rains fall soft upon your fields, And until we meet again my dear sweet son may God hold you in the hallow of His hand.”