Archive for the 'Tributes' Category

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


Today is four weeks since Ailish died. I wanted to write an article today on what I particularly appreciated from my time with Ailish, but it’s been a really rough week for me and so I’m not up to writing that article yet.

Instead, I’m going to link to some songs that were meaningful to us.

This played during our first dance at the wedding.

Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight
This played during our second dance.

Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day
This song played at Ailish’s funeral in Edmonton as the family entered the chapel.

A piano version of the famous song from the Titanic, without Celine Dion’s warbling. Ailish used to play the first few bars of this whenever she visited her parents in Medicine Hat. This was the middle song played at Ailish’s funeral, and the song Ailish’s parents, Michael and Dominica used in Medicine Hat after their tribute.

For her birthday on April 13, 2011, I bought Ailish two tickets to see Death Cab for Cutie (along with the video game, You Don’t Know Jack). Her eyes lit up when she saw them, and I was so happy. This song is from their new album. This was the last song played at Ailish’s funeral in Edmonton, and the song I chose after my tribute in Medicine Hat.

Ailish loved this sort of music. She constantly demanded that we host a dance party on Friday nights, after date night and noodle consumption. Brian chose this to follow his tribute as it reminded him of Ailish’s visits to Medicine Hat and the funny dancing she would do. She would very much have approved.

Iris is one of the most beautiful songs. Ailish’s sister, Siobhan, chose this song to follow her tribute in Medicine Hat. Ailish had given her Big Shiny Tunes 3 to introduce Siobhan to modern music.

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Tribute to Ailish from Christopher

There are so many things I want to tell you about Ailish. I want to tell you the story of our first date, and how I almost screwed it up. I want to tell you about playing You Don’t Know Jack. I want to tell you about Swedish Berries, about Settlers of Catan, about West Wing or Boston Legal. I want to tell you how she was the most patient person I knew, and the least patient person I knew. How angry she was that McDonalds didn’t deliver. How much she enjoyed bacon. The nose beeping game, the squishy nose game (which she always won). Hippos. NAPS! She loved naps.

If I had a lifetime, I couldn’t tell you enough about Ailish.

So instead, I’m going to tell you about Friday night dates.

About six months into our relationship, Ailish decreed we needed to spend more time together. I hated going out during the week, because then I’d be all tired and grumpy for work the next day. And on the weekends, we used to watch t.v. or just generally be boring.

So Ailish established Friday night date night. Date nights had these rules:

  • They could only involve Ailish and me;
  • They had to be in a pub;
  • They had to be at least two hours long;
  • They had to result in beer as soon as humanly possible after work.

So, every week, we went on a date. We talked about work. We talked about friends and family. I explained binary search trees to Ailish, she tried to teach me about accounting. We discussed politics, vacations, beer, hockey, naps, “our relationship”, or what constitutes a complete meal. We talked about everything. And date night was always longer than two hours.

It did not matter how many hours Ailish worked. It did not matter when she started her CMA (accounting) classes. It didn’t matter if my mother had flown in from England to visit. Friday night was sacred.

I don’t know how Ailish could juggle her life. But she always, always kept time for me. Friday nights were everything. Sure, every other day was wonderful. But Friday nights were everything.

In my wedding vows, I told Ailish that every day was better with her in it. Ailish O’Connor, you are my partner and the love of my life. Every minute I spent with you was special and I miss you so much.