Life Lessons From My Grandad
This year (2020) my grandad would have been 100 years old. This is of course a milestone birthday and because of this I’ve been thinking about him and reflecting an awful lot. In this post I want to share with you the eulogy I wrote for his funeral. I hope it inspires you somehow. Bits in brackets are thoughts I added as I was typing.
Finding the words to describe Grandad and how I feel, without taking forever, is a near impossible task. When I was thinking about what I wanted to say a number of words came up:
And perhaps most importantly
Clive had an enviable amount of knowledge about an enviable amount of subjects. Music, poetry, radio, literature and art; to name but a few. But his thirst for knowledge was never quenched and right to the end he was eager to learn something new, nearly every single day.
He had a selfless desire to share this knowledge and somehow made it seem magical. I’ll never forget the times he spent with me trying to learn Morse Code, or the games of Scrabble we played and the new words he taught me.
If grandad didn’t know something he would always try and learn about it. His first port of call would be his vast collection of reference books (Google wasn’t a thing until near the end of his life, and even then he didn’t have a computer). If they didn’t satisfy his hunger then he sometimes ask me to try and find out about it and report back to him.
This activity was always enjoyable because in doing research for him, I was learning too. (Like my grandad I have a great thirst for knowledge and learning). When I’d completed my research I’d give him the information I’d discovered. Seeing the look of satisfaction in his eyes as we discussed it was reward enough. (I soon learnt I needed to be thorough with my reporting as he’d always ask questions)
Grandad and grandma were a great couple. I always looked forward to seeing them; both as a child with mum and dad and as an adult on my own. There would always be stories from both of them and in truth I think we would have been hard pushed to find a subject matter that didn’t have a story - especially from Clive. He always relished telling stories about his time in the desert, or one of his famous decorating stories. In fact, he just loved sharing his experiences.
Over the years grandad had made a great number of friends and it has been my pleasure and privilege to have met them. Listening to the reminiscences at a get together was always fascinating and there a lot of treasured memories we all share. (In fact, grandad, grandma and nearly all his friends made special effort to talk to me and would never dismiss an opinion I had or thought I shared even though I was so young)
Grandad and grandma had a great attitude towards life. They lived a life with which they were completely happy and satisfied. They had an optimistic outlook. They lived life to the full and made the most of everyday that was given to them. A lesson certainly worth taking on board (especially in this technological day and age. It’s too easy to stay in on the computer when there’s a whole world out there to discover)
I feel very lucky to have had a grandad like Clive. He was firm but fair and taught me a great deal. Not just in knowledge, but in life. I’m sure the sentiment will be shared when I say that
“It was an honour to know you and I feel privileged to have learnt from you.”
I will miss you and think of you often.
Thank you grandad - for everything.
Clive Anderson 19 November 1920 - 6 February 2006