Archive for June, 2011

On Monday, we interred Ailish’s ashes. You can read the short tribute I gave here. We waited as long as we did after the funeral because Siobhan, Ailish’s sister, had gone to Europe.

The day was much harder than I expected. I guess, more than the funeral, it felt like I was saying goodbye to Ailish. I wanted to find the perfect words to say, but there just aren’t the words I need to express how much I loved her or how much I miss her.

We chose a plot of land at Westlawn Memorial Gardens here in Edmonton. I really like the location we chose. It’s shaded by trees, and far enough away from the road so as to be peaceful. There’s a picture below, but the grass is much greener than the photograph indicates. We do not yet have a headstone; that will be ready next spring.

After the interment, we went out to Earls for some drinks and to tell some stories about Ailish.

Interment tribute

This is what I read out at Ailish’s interment on June 6, 2011:

Sometime after Ailish and I had professed our love for each other, Ailish had a conversation with me. She thought maybe we were saying, “I love you” too often. Maybe if we said it too often, it wouldn’t be as meaningful.

I disagreed. I disagreed about as thoroughly as I ever disagreed with her about anything. I knew how amazing Ailish was even before our first date, and every single time I told her I loved her, I meant it. I meant it with every part of my soul. I thought we should say it more often. We should say it every morning, before we left for work. Every evening when we came home. When we were cooking supper. When we were sitting watching television. Before we went to sleep.

And we did. And all I wish is that I could have told Ailish how much I loved her another million times.

Here’s a link to flowers my mom sent. WordPress won’t attach images properly and I’m not going to fight it any more.

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We used the following three poems at Ailish’s funeral.



The agony is so great…
And yet I will stand it.
Had I not loved so very much
I would not hurt so much,
But goodness knows I would not
Want to diminish that precious love
By one fraction of an ounce.
I will hurt,
And I will be grateful to the hurt
For it bares witness to
The depth of our meanings,
And for that I will be
Eternally grateful.
— Shirley Holzaer Jeffrey



Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
— Max Ehrmann


Still I Will Love You

If my tears should dry,
And I no longer cry;
I will still love you.

If my heart should mend,
And from despair descend;
I will still love you.

If my feet should take me new,
Along paths you never knew;
I will still love you.

If my mind should once forget,
It will remind me yet;
That I will always love you.
— Dick Underwood